The regional scenarios document the possible impacts on emissions and air quality initiated by potential changes to policies on transportation, technology, fuel, and mobility systems during the upcoming decades. The intention of these scenarios is to show stakeholders that the implementation of sustainable policies plays a critical role in ensuring projected emissions do not become a reality (WEC, 2011).

The objective of this activity is to provide a source of information on current emissions projections and present scenarios for sustainable urban transport and climate change in Latin America and their potential impacts. These initially focus on Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

2. Energy Use

Brazil is the ninth largest energy consumer in the world. Total primary energy consumption in Brazil has increased by close to a third in the last decade, due to sustained economic growth. In addition, Brazil has made great strides in increasing its total energy production, particularly oil and ethanol. Increasing domestic oil production has been a long-term goal of the Brazilian government, and recent discoveries of large offshore, pre-salt oil deposits could transform Brazil into one of the largest oil producers in the world. According to the Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ), Brazil has the second-largest oil reserves in South America after Venezuela. The offshore Campos and Santos Basins, located off the country's southeast coast, hold the vast majority of Brazil's proven reserves (US Energy Information Administration).  As can be seen in the graph below, Brazil achieved self-sufficiency in oil in approximately 2007 after the offshore field discoveries, and the nation is now a net oil exporter.

Brazilian oil supply and consumption (1,000s barrels)

 

Source:  United States Energy Information Administration, 2012.

 

In parallel with the increase in oil consumption Brazil is one of the world leaders in terms of renewable energy production and investment. Brazil’s government has pushed the development of renewable-energy sources in recent years to diversify the country’s energy generation while also encouraging the use of environment-friendly energy sources.  As can be seen below up to 50% of all the country’s energy requirements originate from renewable sources and the country saw a 42% growth in renewable energy capacity between 2005 and 2010 (Pew Environment Group, 2010).

Energy Consumption in Brazil (2010)

 

Source:  IEA

 

The demand for energy is forecast to grow rapidly.  Primary energy demand is projected to grow annually at 2.1%, from 200 Mtone in 2004 to 352 Mtone in 2030 (IEA, 2006), fuelled by millions of people spending more on consumer goods for their homes and cars and economic growth continuing to outstrip that seen in developed nations.  According to a 10-year energy plan recently published by EPE, Brazil's Energy Research Company, present electricity consumption per person per year stands at just 560 kWh in Brazil. This compares with some 1900 kWh in the U.K. and more than 4500 kWh in the U.S. But, faced with on-going development, the country now needs to increase the installed potential of the national grid from the 110 GW at the end of 2011 to 171 GW by the end of 2020. To meet this demand and ensure that Brazil also reduces its CO2 emissions by their goal amount of between 36 percent and 39 percent by 2020, it is vital that the country concentrates on clean sources of energy.  According the EPE, investment of around BRL190 billion (US$122.6 billion) is needed for Brazil to meet the challenge. Of this, around BRL100 billion ($63.8 billion) will go towards renewable projects not yet contracted, 55 percent on large hydropower and 45 percent on wind, biomass and small hydro. However, coupled with an increase in energy production it is vital for Brazil to ensure that sustainable policies which actively pursue a reduction in energy consumption and demand are given significant and sufficient importance.