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Paris Accords Obligate Brazil to Abandon Conservative Estimates

08/26/2016 - 09h23

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MARCELO LEITE
FROM SÃO PAULO

Following the debate about climate change and energy means living under the symbol of anxiety. There is a chasm between what needs to be done - decarbonize the economy - and what governments are doing and preparing to do in order to rid economies of dependency on fossil fuels like oil.

Divulgação
Paris Accords stipulates that it is indispensable to contain global warming below 2° C.
Paris Accords stipulates that it is indispensable to contain global warming below 2° C.

The necessity is made clear in the Paris Accords, adopted by 195 countries in December of last year.

The treaty stipulates that it is indispensable to contain global warming below 2° C in order to prevent the planet's climactic breakdown.

Reaching this objective implies the elimination of greenhouse gasses by the year 2050.

In few countries is the mismatch between this inescapable goal and the trajectory of actual policies as blatant as it is in Brazil. At the same time that Brazil engages in negotiations in Paris and adopts reasonable goals for reducing emissions, the country continues to maintain faith in subsalt as the master lever in its development strategy.

This shadowy capital in national history obscures one of the most promising advances on the path towards decarbonization: the growth of alternative sources of energy like wind and biomass (sugarcane residual) in the Brazilian electric energy matrix.

These two alone, without subsidies, should finish out the year accounting for 13% of the matrix. Technological advances and efficiencies of scale have already made them competitive and the same should happen soon with electricity from photovoltaic sources (solar panels).

It may seem utopian to reach 1 million roofs with solar panels by 2020, to electrify the transportation sector or to archive plans for subsalt and new hydroelectric plants in the Amazon, as proposed by Greenpeace in the report "Energy Revolution".

On the other hand, depending on realistic (or conservative) projections has never worked to bring the country to what must take place to meet the goals of Paris. To the contrary.

Many specialists say that decarbonization is feasible, from both the economic and technological point of view. It's up to all of use, hereinafter, to demonstrate that it is also viable, socially and economically.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER
Read the article in the original language

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