Nature-based Solutions are critical for putting Brazil on track towards Net Zero

A leopard within forest undergrowth. Photo by Chuttersnap on Unsplash
Healthy ecosystems are the foundation of healthy economies and encourage investment in Brazil.

New research led by NbSI and Oxford Net Zero research fellow Aline Soterroni, supported by NERC as part of the Agile Initiative, examines the extent to which existing and planned national policies in Brazil can put the nation on the path to its net zero pledge.

The study, currently available as a preprint and summarised in a briefing, applied a detailed integrated assessment modelling approach, including quantifying the role of nature-based solutions, such as protection and restoration, and engineered solutions, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

The analysis shows that protection is the single most important climate mitigation measure at relatively low costs, whereas relying heavily on engineered solutions would jeopardise Brazil’s chances of achieving its net zero pledge. Additionally, the mismatch between Brazil’s short- and long-term climate targets reflects current weak environmental governance. The findings reinforce the urgent need for Brazil to eliminate illegal deforestation and go beyond to help fight climate change whilst curbing biodiversity loss.

A briefing on the research, Nature-based solutions are key for meeting Brazil’s climate goals and supporting the economy, includes recommendation for policymakers:

  1. Enhance ambition of Brazil’s climate pledges, aligning short- and long-term goals. This could be achieved by revising the 2025 and 2030 NDC emissions targets and incorporating a robust plan towards net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by mid-century with clear interim milestones, reporting mechanisms and details on use of high quality offsets.
  2. Implement and strengthen existing legislations such as the Forest Code during this decade and go beyond them to avoid costly engineered solutions for Brazil to reach net-zero GHG emissions.
  3. Protect and restore native ecosystems (not only Amazonia, but also Cerrado, Atlantic Forest, Caatinga, Pantanal and Pampa), in particular halt illegal deforestation and pursue efforts to eliminate legal native vegetation losses. In other words, implement nature-based solutions.

Read the full briefing for key findings, and further policy and practice recommendations on how Brazil can bridge the gap to net-zero GHG emissions.

This briefing is based on the findings from:
Soterroni, A.; Império, M.; Scarabello, M.; Seddon, N.; Obersteiner, M.; Rochedo, P.; Schaeffer, R.; Andrade, P.; Ramos, F.; Azevedo, T.; Ometto, J.; Havlik, P.; Alencar, A. Nature-Based Solutions Are Critical for Putting Brazil on Track Towards Net Zero. Preprints 2022, 2022110054 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202211.0054.v1).