Supporting national climate policy in Brazil and beyond

IIASA provided Brazil with a clear, quantitative basis to its climate commitments, leading to robust policy that the government could be sure of delivering.

© Gustavo Frazao | Shutterstock

© Gustavo Frazao | Shutterstock

Brazil’s rainforests provide globally important carbon storage, as well as harboring a substantial proportion of the world’s biodiversity. However, high rates of deforestation have had severe impacts on these important resources, and as the country’s agricultural sector continues to expand there is an important balance that must be struck.

In the run up to the Paris climate summit, Brazilian policymakers had an important but complex task: to produce ambitious but feasible climate policies that also allowed the economy to flourish. IIASA was uniquely placed to help with this problem: as an independent, politically neutral research institute it is also a world leader in systems analysis, the only tool that can provide robust policy guidance on such issues. To aid Brazil, IIASA researchers employed the institute’s Global Biosphere Management Model as part of REDD-PAC—an assessment center for policies aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

Dr. José Domingos Miguez, director of Brazil's Department of Environmental Evaluation in the country's Ministry of the Environment, and one of Brazil’s leading climate negotiators, said: "Land-use emissions are a central part of Brazil’s climate commitments. Having clear, quantitative evidence as the basis of Brazil’s INDC also strengthens our negotiating position on the international stage. Being able to point to the scientific basis for our climate commitment helps build trust with other nations, and create a transparent environment for climate negotiations in the future. The Brazilian Government has benefited from the cooperation between IIASA and leading Brazilian public institutions, the National Institute for Space Research and the Institute for Applied Economic Research. The results of the GLOBIOM-Brazil model were quite informative and have provided science-based evidence that has contributed to Brazil’s INDC."

Summary

  • IIASA research provided a sound scientific basis to Brazil’s climate commitments for the Paris Agreement.
  • To assess different policy options aimed at reducing land-use emissions, researchers used the IIASA Global Biosphere Management Model.
  • IIASA worked with Brazilian research institutes to adapt the model, helping to train local researchers and build the country’s systems analysis capacity.
  • Close collaboration with Brazilian research institutes enabled strong links with Brazilian policymakers.
  • Strong science and policy links meant that the models assumptions and scenarios were scrutinized by policymakers leading to realistic, relevant policy assessment.
  • Demonstrating the scientific basis of its climate commitment strengthens Brazil’s negotiating position on the international stage and helps build trust with other nations.
  • IIASA has launched a new project RESTORE+, which will expand the work to Indonesia while continuing to support Brazil and the countries making up the Congo Basin.
  • In the future, IIASA plans to explore the possibilities for working with other countries with similar issues, such as Malaysia and Vietnam.





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Last edited: 16 February 2017

CONTACT DETAILS

Michael Obersteiner

Program Director

Ecosystems Services and Management

T +43(0) 2236 807 460

CONTACT DETAILS

Florian Kraxner

Deputy Program Director

Ecosystems Services and Management

T +43(0) 2236 807 233

Supporting national climate policy in Brazil and beyond (PDF)

PUBLICATIONS

Havlik P, Valin H, Herrero M, Obersteiner M, Schmid E, Rufino MC, Mosnier A, Thornton PK, et al. (2014). Climate change mitigation through livestock system transitions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (10): 3709-3714. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1308044111.

Mosnier A, Obersteiner M, Havlik P, Schmid E, Khabarov N, Westphal M, Valin H, Frank S, et al. (2014). Global food markets, trade and the cost of climate change adaptation. Food Security 6 (1): 29-44. DOI:10.1007/s12571-013-0319-z.

Valin H, Havlik P, Mosnier A, Herrero M, Schmid E, & Obersteiner M (2013). Agricultural productivity and greenhouse gas emissions: Trade-offs or synergies between mitigation and food security? Environmental Research Letters 8 (3): no.035019. DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/035019.

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313