Scientific and legal analysis of the new Brazilian NDC to the Paris Agreement
The positioning adopted by Brazil in relation to the presentation of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), on December 8, 2020, is a matter of concern for Brazilian society and sends a negative and alarming signal to the international community, with respect to the compliance with the climate commitments adopted in the Paris Agreement.
In December, the Brazilian government presented to the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), what it called a “New First NDC” or an update of the NDC that was presented in 2015. In this version of the document, the goal of the 37% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for 2025 was confirmed. This goal had already been presented in the previous version of the first Brazilian NDC. Furthermore, the goal of the 43% reduction for 2030 was made official.
However, in absolute volumes, the Brazilian “new first NDC” indicates that the Brazilian emissions increased in 2015 from 1.3 to 1.8 GtCO2e in 2025, and from 1.2 to 1.6 GtCO2e
in 2030, i.e., an increase of 0.5 GtCO2e in 2025 and 0.4 GtCO2e in 2030. This increase has been justified by the Brazilian Government by the change in the calculation basis of the level of net emissions of the country in 2005, which were used as a benchmark.
The risk of adoption of methodological changes by governments that lead to the increase of absolute emission goals is, without doubt, a topic that deserves attention. This is because the Paris Agreement is based on a premise of the progression of the efforts of countries in the continued reduction of their goals of greenhouse gas emissions.
To stimulate this necessary debate, the Institute for Climate and Society presents two publications about the Brazilian NDC, which was sent on December 8, 2020 to the UNFCCC: a scientific analysis (“Evaluation of the Commitments of the new version of the 1st NDC of Brazil” by the Climate Center of COPPE/UFRJ) and a legal analysis (“The ambiguity of the ‘new first Brazilian NDC’ and its compatibility with the Paris Agreement” by LACLIMA).