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Developing an emissions reduction pathway in three Brazilian states

28 November 2019, 15:29 UTC 3 min read

Earlier this year, our Climate Pathway Project team conducted stocktaking missions in three Brazilian states – São Paulo, Mato Grosso and Amazonas – to identify policies and plans to support them in tracking emissions and developing long-term emissions reduction pathways.

About the states

In order to develop the Climate Pathway Project in Latin America, seven jurisdictions were selected in four different countries. All of them are considerably distinct in terms of economic activities, and, consequently, also in terms of GHG emission profiles. The three Brazilian states within the project represent a total of 25% of the Brazilian population, 31% of the land area and 35.4% of the national GDP.

São Paulo, Brazil

As the biggest economy in the country, São Paulo state is the largest contributor to emissions. Despite the high levels of urbanization and heavy industry within the state, São Paulo also has considerable livestock and agriculture activities, which are driven mainly by sugarcane, soy and forestry (eucalyptus and pine) production. Given these characteristics, GHG emissions are concentrated in the energy, AFOLU and waste sectors, which are the target sectors for the project.

Mato Grosso, Brazil

Mato Grosso, in turn, has a much larger countryside and is one of the biggest grain producers in the world as well as planning to be the first Brazilian ethanol producer by 2020. Livestock is also a large industry in Mato Grosso, with 30 million cattle – 14% of the national cattle population and more than ten times the human population. Despite the low population and industrial activities, Mato Grosso is ranked as the second biggest GHG emitter in the country (with 68% of its emissions coming from land use change and 27% from agriculture and livestock).

Amazonas, Brazil

Similarly to Mato Grosso, the state of Amazonas has a low population density due to the high percentage of Amazonic forest recover. Industries are present in the urban area of the state, the capital, Manaus, and the “Zona Franca”, a free tax region for industrial products, which generates thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

Despite the distinct trajectories of the three states, they are all committed to reducing their GHG emissions in the long-term and taking ambitious climate action.



During the stocktaking missions, our team presented the Climate Pathway Project to Secretaries of Environment, local government representatives, partners from civil society, private sector representatives and local communities. A key outcome of the missions was that all three states view the project as a way of unifying existing efforts and programs.

The project team was pleased to encounter communities that are engaged and committed to climate action and, in all three states, it was clear that the significant amount of data already developed can be used as building blocks for the pathway development.

We are now supporting the states to seek alternative development solutions that are innovative, promote socio-economic gain while also consciously managing their natural resources.

Outcomes and next steps

The commitment of the states to the project was admirable and, having taken part in high level meetings with the Brazilian President and other Ministers, their seriousness to setting out informed climate mitigation planning processes was clear.

The project team is now working to encourage stakeholder engagement and retrieve local emissions data to begin analytical work. Through bi-weekly calls, webinars and upcoming capacity building workshops, the project will continue to build knowledge, encourage active participation and teach governments about the importance of data collection and emissions monitoring.