Brazil has comparative advantages in combating climate change, such as a diversified energy matrix and significant participation from renewable energy sources. However, it is necessary to transform these advantages into competitiveness, balancing economic, social, and carbon emission reduction aspects. Researchers discussed this issue in an online event promoted by the FAPESP Research Program on Global Climate Change (PFPMCG) and the ClimaInfo Institute.
The synthesis report of the Sixth Assessment Cycle (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) points out that the global average temperature is 1.1 °C higher compared to pre-industrial levels, resulting in extreme weather events. To limit warming to 1.5 °C by 2030, it is necessary to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by almost half by 2030 and achieve negative net CO2 emissions by the early 2050s.
Opportunities and challenges
Brazil has a great opportunity to lead the global energy transition by expanding the use of solar energy, especially in the semi-arid region of the Northeast, to combat climate change and boost the country’s economic and social development. This was highlighted by researchers who participated in an online event promoted by the FAPESP Research Program on Global Climate Change and the ClimaInfo Institute.
Despite already having a diversified energy matrix with strong participation from renewable sources, the country still needs to make its comparative advantages competitive, considering economic and social aspects. In the Northeastern semi-arid region, for example, there is high potential for solar energy generation.
According to Moacyr Araújo, scientific coordinator of the Brazilian Network on Climate Change (Rede Clima), in Pernambuco alone, for example, there are over 100 municipalities with degraded areas that could be used to produce solar energy, enabling an energy revolution in the Northeastern semi-arid region. In addition, solar energy has great expansion potential throughout the country, especially in sunny areas with low shadow incidence.
According to the AR6 synthesis report from the IPCC, the costs of solar energy fell 85% between 2010 and 2019, making this energy source even more attractive and financially accessible. This downward trend in costs should continue in the coming years, further driving the adoption of solar energy worldwide.
Furthermore, the wind energy generation potential in the North and Northeast regions is about 133 gigawatts (GW). This represents almost 70% of all energy generated in Brazil, taking advantage of wind convergence.
One of the main challenges is improving access to adequate financial resources to implement large-scale mitigation and adaptation measures to climate change. Increasing climate financing is crucial, especially in developing countries.
Solar and wind energy are increasingly viable and effective alternatives for reducing GHG emissions and combating climate change. In addition, they offer an important opportunity for Brazil’s economic and social development, contributing to a less unequal development model with less poverty.
In this context, it is essential that Brazil takes advantage of its natural advantages and invests in public policies and initiatives that promote the development and adoption of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind energy. This includes encouraging research, development, and innovation in the sector, as well as improving infrastructure and the technical training of the population.
The government, in partnership with the private sector, can develop financing programs and tax incentives to facilitate access to renewable energy technologies and promote the implementation of clean energy generation projects. It is also essential that federal, state, and municipal governments work together to establish clear goals and regulations that drive the energy transition in the country.
Brazilian society also has an important role in this process, by demanding sustainable solutions and supporting actions that promote awareness about the importance of renewable energies and the benefits of their adoption. This includes promoting educational campaigns and creating collaboration networks between communities, companies, and educational institutions to share knowledge and experiences in the field.
Moreover, it is important that Brazil strengthens international cooperation by participating in forums and multilateral agreements related to climate and sustainable development. This will allow the sharing of best practices, technologies, and financing, as well as enabling the construction of strategic partnerships that can accelerate the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy matrix.
In summary, Brazil has enormous potential to lead the fight against climate change and promote sustainable development through the expansion of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. However, a joint effort between the government, private sector, and society is needed to overcome challenges and transform these advantages into real opportunities for economic growth, social justice, and environmental protection.