• iCS - Climate and Society

Brazilian growth is in low carbon

A study organized by WRI-Brasil shows that the adoption of measures in Brazil for a low carbon transition would produce an additional increase of R$ 2.8 trillion in GDP in 10 years and create 2 million new jobs

Up till now, over 100,000 lives have been lost in Brazil due to the pandemic of the new Coronavirus. Just as mitigating and adapting to climate change means saving lives, the actions to rescue Brazil's economy and to combat inequality do the same thing. This is explained in this article by Carolina Genin, director of the climate program at WRI-Brasil and one of the authors of the recently published study “A New Economy for a New Era: Elements for building a more efficient and resilient economy for Brazil.” The document is the result of the initiative New Economy of Brazil, which is a creation of WRI Brasil in partnership with economists and experts from institutions (such as COPPE-UFRJ, CPI, Ipea, Febraban, PUC-Rio, CEBDS and the New Climate Economy initiative) to respond to questions such as: should Brazil prioritize the transition to a low carbon economy, i.e., adopt technologies and infrastructures with less greenhouse gas emissions and which are more modern and resilient to extreme climates, in the next decade? If yes, how do we get there?

The answer is positive. The study proves that seeking the green economy will make Brazil grow more in 10 years than with the current development model: the low carbon alternatives would produce an additional increase of R$ 2.8 trillion by 2030 in the national GDP, which is equivalent to one year’s GDP of Belgium or Argentina. There would be 2 million more jobs, mainly in the industry and services sector. The way to do this does not have to be disruptive; just start by prioritizing three sectors in which good practices are available and ready to grow: quality infrastructure, industrial innovation and sustainable agriculture. On this last point, in fact, a new study analysis showed that the recovery of 12 million hectares of degraded areas could generate R$ 19 billion in ten years of return on investment, as well as a revenue of R$ 742 million.

The work is developed in two complementary parts. In the first part, it uses an extensive bibliographic review and analyzes the benefits and opportunities. In the second part, it is based on an economic model to present new macroeconomic and long-term results after the adoption of measures associated with the transition to a low carbon economy. If Brazil does that, it can align itself and benefit from the trends of the financial markets and expand its access to private financing. Read the full study and also watch a highly interesting interview with Carolina Genin at Coalizão Brasil.

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