Brazil sets ambitious green goals ahead of COP28

Brazil's government is ardently preparing for the upcoming COP28 climate summit, slated for November and December in Dubai. Brazil anticipates that their Congress will greenlight a raft of energy transition-related bills within the forthcoming 100 days, enhancing its stance in global decarbonisation efforts.

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A chat with Reuters revealed Rodrigo Rollemberg, secretary at Brazil’s development ministry, sharing insights about the planned legislative package. These bills will target initiatives to ramp up renewable fuel usage and set guidelines for pertinent sectors, notably offshore wind energy. This move will bolster Brazil’s commitment to a greener future, especially as global nations prepare to converge for the annual United Nations-led climate discussions.

Brazil’s President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who commenced his term this January, is ardently focused on undoing the environmental deterioration experienced under the preceding far-right leadership of Jair Bolsonaro. The marked increase in Amazon deforestation during Bolsonaro’s reign is a significant concern. President Lula, in his commitment to the environment, has promised to terminate illicit deforestation in the Amazon by 2030, and concurrently, spearhead a transition championed by renewable energy sources.

The forthcoming bills sponsored by the government revolve around four pivotal themes:

  • Crafting a new carbon market.
  • Setting guidelines for offshore wind power.
  • Rolling out the “Fuel of the Future” initiative.
  • Laying down regulations for green hydrogen.

Rollemberg articulated, “While these are independent bills, their combined strength aligns them towards sustainability, offering them an economic backing that would be elusive otherwise.”

Of the initiatives, the “Fuel of the Future” project stands out. As Rollemberg pointed out, it will encourage the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Brazil. Global aerospace giant, Boeing, has already spotlighted Brazil as a potential leader in SAF production. An interesting strategy to boost SAF production involves capitalising on degraded farmlands. Furthermore, Rollemberg indicated plans to increase the mandatory ethanol content in gasoline to 30%, up from the present 27%.

One particularly progressive proposal is the formulation of a regulated carbon market. Rollemberg anticipates that this bill might reach Congress within the next week. He confidently stated, “We have 100 days leading up to COP28, ample time for Congress to approve all the proposed legislations.”

Rollemberg is optimistic about Brazil’s potential role in global green efforts, saying, “In the latter half of the year, Brazil is perfectly positioned to transmit robust signals, both domestically and globally, affirming its intention to pioneer the transition to a greener and low-carbon economy.”

In a fitting nod to its environmental commitments, Brazil is slated to host the U.N. climate talks in 2025 in the Amazonian city of Belem.

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