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.

4. Emissions and Alternative Transport Scenarios

Although increasing car ownership is a real issue in Brazil the transport sectors in Brazil are already widely based on low-carbon fuel alternatives and current efforts to keep the energy matrix clean must be acknowledged. Biofuels are widely used with, for example, ethanol substituting for two-fifths of gasoline fuel. However, the maintenance of a low-carbon development path in Brazil will continue to require larger investments in low-carbon fuel options and additional measures to reduce emissions in the sector may require increased efforts. By heading off the predicted increase in vehicle growth through transit promotion, vehicle emissions standards, and other policy innovations, Brazil can keep these transport-related emissions closer to current levels, without sacrificing long-term economic growth.

Brazil has already made some major investments in efficient transportation, but there is always more to be done as increasing motorization rates will be a long-term concern.; A flagship city within Brazil is Curitiba which is known around the world for its successful urban planning, which, since the 1970s and 1980s, has enabled it to mitigate various environmental and urban problems through innovative urban infrastructure, public transit, environmental protection, and social welfare solutions. Its integrated mass transit system has become a model for other cities in Brazil and throughout Latin America. It is a good example of embedding a sustainable transport solution, the Bus Rapid Transit system, within a wide range of integrated and overlapping policies all geared to supporting the overall effectiveness of public transport and/or pedestrian access and decreasing the attractiveness of personal automobile use. Measures included greater coordination of public transport services, better passenger information systems, regulation of private bus operators, investment in pedestrian and cycling facilities, environmental education, and parking charges.

The graph below shows the potential emissions savings that could be achieved with appropriate policies as put forward by the World Energy Council and discussed in the previous section. Low-carbon alternatives would offer important development co-benefits, ranging from reduced congestion and air pollution in urban transport areas.

Brazilian CO2 Emissions From Transportation

Source: United States Energy Information Administration, 2012.


The World Bank Low Carbon Study for Brazil generated a reference scenario (i.e. “do nothing”? that is compared with a projected low-carbon scenario. This was undertaken for four sectors, on of which was Transport. The study used a bottom-up approach to estimate fuel consumption and GHG emissions in the transport sector. CO2 emissions were calculated by mode of transport, based on the projected demand of passengers or freight, number and length of trips, and types and energy content of the fuels consumed.