Deforestation and alternative source of energy in Brazil


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented a study that the global temperature tends to increase 2ºC. However, there is sufficient potential to contain global warming using technical measures. For specialists increasing energy price expectations would lead to more abatement technologies being net profit positive. How would it happen? The higher prices of energy would affect the transport sector through higher savings on fuel costs. Also the buildings and industrial sectors through increased savings from energy efficiency measures. In power sector, the high costs of fossil-fuel-based generation technologies would make low-carbon alternatives such as renewables or nuclear become relatively cheaper.

On  a recent analysis of Brazil made by McKinsey a particular challenge realized was to quantify the cost of stop deforestation by 2030, especially in the Amazon biome. It is based on strengthening the institutions and monitoring and control mechanisms, creating incentives to develop and grow sustainable forestry activities, generating employment, investments and improving the human development indices on the Amazon area. Conclusions confirm Brazil’s potential to take a leading role in the global fight against the climate change.

The World Resource’s Institute points Brazil as the 4th GHG emitter in the world, bus studies have also showed the country on the top 5 of largest potential to reduce such emissions. Parts on this process are not only on government hands but also with business, regulatory bodies, and non-governmental organizations.

According to the report “Pathways to a low-carbon economy for Brazil”, the most significant negative impact considering Brazilian reality is the deforestation, responsible for 55% of the GHG emissions on the country. On the other hand it is compensated by the low emissions of the power generation sector, because mostly of the Brazilian energy comes from hydroelectric plants. Considering the growth of the economy of the country on the last years the intensity of GHG emissions are also expected to grow. Brazil’s emission is already above the global average, and considering the challenge of reduces deforestation and controlling the GHG emissions can be achieved the mark of 70% reduction of emissions. In conclusion, Brazil represents one of the biggest players on the global scenario to reduce the GHG emissions, and the main action on this would be preserv the Amazon forest, generating costs between 2.4 to 5.7 billion EURs. Part of it could possibly be funded using international carbon credits.

biocombustivel1Another important thing to be considered is the alternative generation of energy, especially on the transport system. Something that is not so explored by other countries, in my experience shows to be very efficient on Brazilian scenario. The use of an alternative technology fuel system for vehicles instead of fossil-fuel technologies. The Brazilian flex-fuel system has become well succeeded (far from 100% yet) in terms of GHG emissions reduction, because the alcohol emits less pollution than diesel or gasoline. Is not such clean as some other types of vehicles engine’s systems, such as electric, solar energy, etc., but represents an important way to reduce the emissions, considering also the high number of cars on the urban areas.

According to Brazilian ANP (National Agency of Petrol) the emissions avoided with the use of alcohol as vehicle’s fuel on Brazil during 2008 represented 156% of CO2 emissions on Spain (2003) for example, or 79% on Italy. The potential not only of Brazil, but other countries around the globe to reduce CO2 emissions on atmosphere can also decrease using this kind of technology and could be considered as a potential sub-initiative. Its important to realize that the opportunities on this scenario can be explored by the private sector, developing new technologies like happened in Brazil, getting incentives and others.

Antónia Majková


4 thoughts on “Deforestation and alternative source of energy in Brazil

  1. I think deforestation in Brazil has a global effect on climate change, that´s why it should be addressed at the global level. I hope the idea of the Brazilian flex-fuel system will be supported in other countries as well. Maybe NGOs will play the key role in the issue.

    Liked by 1 person

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