Brazil’ Pathway to a Green Economy

The Brazilian Constitution of 1988 regards the environment as a strategic factor for policy-making, acknowledging the link between social and economic development and nature conservation. Brazil has focused its efforts on water management, biodiversity preservation, and control of deforestation. By hosting the UN Conference on Environment and Development, Rio-92, and through the ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Brazil has strengthened its commitment to protect its biodiversity

See Brazil's Country Study Summary



The Brazilian government has also taken measures to reduce the deforestation of the Amazon. In 2003, a presidential decree was signed that established an Inter-ministry Permanent Working Group, which was created to propose and coordinate actions to reduce rates of deforestation in the Amazon.  Data from the Real Time Deforestation Detection system (DETER) announced in August 2009 show that the annual deforestation rate for 2009 was expected to be the lowest in the last 20 years – more than nine thousand square kilometres. For additional information, please visit the Ministry of Environment.




Brazil's National Plan on Climate Change

The National Plan on Climate Change was launched by the government of the former President Lula, in September 2008. The plan’s key themes are:

  1. Better practices in the economic sectors through more efficient use of natural, human, technological and scientific resources
  2. Increasing and promoting the use of biofuel
  3. Decrease deforestation in all Brazilian biomass and focus on reforestation and energetic and commercial planting
  4. Reach a zero illegal deforestation rates
  5. The Brazilian government is targeting an elimination of the net loss of forest coverage by 2015 
  6. The plan specifies that scientific research and studies must continue, in order to reinforce strategies related to socio-economic cost
  7. It also seeks to increase energy efficiency, as well as the use of renewable energy sources in the Brazilian matrix

A green economy programme has been launched in the state of São Paulo encompassing a variety of economic sectors and areas.



Click here for more information   


Green Economy Success Story: Sustainable Urban Planning in Brazil 

Rapid growth of urban areas presents both environmental and socio-economic challenges to residents, businesses and municipalities. With inadequate planning and limited finances accommodating the increasing urban populations often results in expansion of informal housing in cities or suburban developments requiring high use of private transport. Brazil has the fourth-largest urban population after China, India, and the US, with an annual urban growth rate of 1.8 per cent between 2005 and 2010. The city of Curitiba, capital of Paraná State in Brazil has successfully addressed this challenge by implementing innovative systems over the last decades that have inspired other cities in Brazil, and beyond. 
Through its innovative approaches in urban planning, city management, and transport planning going back as far as the 1960s, Curitiba has been able to grow in population from 361,000 (in 1960) to 1.828 million (in 2008), without experiencing typical drawbacks from congestion, pollution and reduction of public space. The population density in the city has increased three-fold from 1970 to 2008. At the same time, the average green area per person increased from 1 km² to over 50 km².

For the full story, please click here 

Partnership with UNEP on Green Economy 

In 2004, UNEP has established an office in Brasilia. The aim is to better coordinate its activities and provide assistance to the country at different levels in collaboration with several stakeholders, UN agencies and the UNEP Panama regional office included.


UNEP has engaged with the state of São Paulo to promote a Green Economy in the State. In addition, UNEP is seeking to provide support to a national level assessment of the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) announced by Brazil’s Environment Minister at the CBD COP 10 in Nagoya in October 2010. 

Other UNEP related initiatives


The United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) in Brazil covering the period 2007-2011 includes the goal to ensure more efficient use of available resources in order to promote an equitable and environmentally sustainable economic development. Supporting the implementation of equitable and environmentally sustainable socioeconomic development entails capacity development of governments, civil society and right holders in three areas: prioritization of resources, mainstreaming of environmental aspects in the formulation and implementation of public policies, as well as realisation of sustainable development.

For more information, please click here 

ILO Green Jobs Initiative

The Brazilian Government has included green jobs as a key element in its national development policy. Since 2009 the International Labour Organization (ILO) is providing permanent support to the conceptual development and practical implementation of a green jobs strategy in the form of studies, courses, workshops and technical assistance at federal and state level. The ILO-Brazil agreement entitled “Programa empregos verdes” has been renewed in August 2010

For more information please click here


Furthermore, UNEP is part of the Global Bionergy Partnership (GBEF) which was launched after the G8 Gleneagles Summit in 2005. In fact, this partnership resulted from the decisions of the member states as a way to tackle climate change, one of the top priorities of the summit.

The actors of this project are the public, private sectors, civil society, G8 states participants and other UN agencies such as FAO, UNDP and UNCTAD. The objectives are to promote sustainable biomass and bioenergy development, enable investment in these sectors, develop projects and achieve concrete results and encourage research and development and commercial bioenergy activities.

For more information, please click here  

What Brazilian Leaders have said about the Green Economy

Brazil’s President, H.E. Dilma Rousseff: “For the first time Brazil is faced with the real opportunity to become, to be, a developed nation. […]I consider that Brazil has a sacred mission to show the world that it is possible for a country to grow rapidly without destroying the environment.  We are and will continue to be the world champions in clean energy, a country that will always know how to grow in a healthy and balanced fashion. […] Ethanol and hydro-energy sources will be greatly encouraged, as well as alternative sources: biomass, wind and solar energy. Brazil will continue to give priority to preserving natural reserves and forests.”

Address  of President Dilma Rousseff: Inaugural Speech to Congress. 1 January, 2011 in Brasilia.

For the full address, please click here

We will make all our efforts to consolidate our clean energy, which is an essential, key asset of Brazil."