Brazil announces new greenhouse gas emissions goal
Civil society groups warn targets may not represent a sufficient reduction
On November 1, during the second day of COP26, Brazilian Environment Minister Joaquim Leite announced a new target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Reflected in Brazil’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), the target aims for a reduction between 43% and 50% by 2030, as well as a goal for carbon neutrality by 2050. This change is expected to be formalized during the conference.
However, the announcement was met with pessimism from certain groups within civil society, who warned it might not actually represent an effective reduction as the calculation method for GHG emissions was not revealed. These groups argue that the new target is essentially a reiteration of a commitment that was already made in 2015, as Brazil’s NDC was updated in 2020 with a different methodology for calculating emissions.
In reality, Brazil may merely be maintaining its commitment from 2015 without effectively reducing its emissions targets, depending on how these are calculated.
Congress considering bringing targets forward
In anticipation of the announcement, on October 20, 2021, the Brazilian Senate approved a bill to modify the National Policy on Climate Change, bringing the 43% emissions reduction target forward to 2025 for a 50% reduction by 2030, based on 2005 levels. The bill also establishes that the Executive Branch will regulate the details for achieving these goals, with a particular focus on stopping deforestation and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.
This proposal is currently being analyzed by the House of Representatives but is likely to be approved, especially in light of the commitments Brazil has announced at COP26.
For further information on COP26, see the specialized content developed by Mattos Filho’s Environmental Law and Climate Change practice area:
- Fashion industry renews commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Nature and Land Use Day marked by new agriculture commitments
- Youth activists press for climate and humanitarian action at COP26
- Brazil’s state governors launch ‘Consórcio Brasil Verde’
- New international commitment seeks to cut methane gas emissions
- Discussions on new climate finance initiatives progress at COP26
- New international agreement for preserving forests endorsed at COP26
*With the collaboration of Maria Eduarda Garambone, Anna Carolina Gandolfi, Mariana Diel e Gabriel Pereira Bispo de Oliveira.