Silvio Cascione -Reuters, 02/02/16
Brazilian lawmakers return from their annual recess today with an overwhelming list of work to do as the country sinks into a broadening political, economic and health crisis.
And yet expectations about their actual capacity to make 2016 a better year than 2015 could hardly be smaller.
While there is little consensus on the measures needed to fix Brazil’s budget, deputies and senators are set to spend much of their political energy this year arguing about if and how President Dilma Rousseff should be impeached – and a whole new program of economic reforms could be started from scratch.
Paul Kiernan – The Wall Street Journal, 01/14/2016
Brazil’s Federal Police have accused seven people and three companies, including mining giant Vale SA and its joint-venture Samarco Mineração SA, of environmental crimes in response to a major dam collapse in November.
The move, which has no exact equivalent in the U.S. legal system, will trigger the beginning of a deeper investigation by police. It typically represents a step toward formal charges, which in Brazil can only be filed by prosecutors, often after police have presented their findings.
The accusations mark the latest response by Brazilian authorities to what some have called the country’s worst-ever environmental disaster. On Nov. 5, Samarco’s Fundão tailings dam suddenly collapsed, releasing a flood of sludge that buried rural villages, killed 19 people and polluted more than 400 miles of the Rio Doce basin.
Viviane Romeiro and Rachel Biderman – WRI, 9/21/2015
Brazil, the world’s seventh-biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has the relevant tools and policies it needs to become a leader in the fight to deal with climate change. This opportunity comes at a pivotal time for Brazil: its national climate plan—its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)—should be submitted within days as part of global climate negotiations, while a national economic crisis, drought and energy uncertainty inform Brazil’s decisions at home.
A new WRI report, Bridging the Gap Between Energy and Climate Policies in Brazil, finds that Brazil could act to change its energy mix and move toward a lower-carbon economy, but it needs to strengthen existing policies to amplify their impact to join other key climate players including China, the United States and Mexico.
Press Release based on Report by by Viviane Romeiro, Taryn Fransen and Oswaldo Lucon – WRI, 9/21/2015
A new report by World Resources Institute and University of Sao Paolo’s Institute of Energy and Environment finds that Brazil could change its energy mix and move toward a lower-carbon economy by modernizing transport, improving renewable energy capacity and increasing industrial efficiency. The report, Bridging the Gap Between Energy and Climate Policies in Brazil, analyses different emissions scenarios and makes recommendations to strengthen the portfolio of policies that would enable Brazil to meet both its energy and climate objectives.
As the world’s seventh-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, Brazil’s climate commitment is an important piece of the global response to climate change. The report is especially timely as Brazil is expected to release its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) this week. The report finds that under current policies Brazilian GHG emissions are likely to exceed the country’s share of the remaining carbon budget between 2024 and 2035 if it does not change its current energy mix.
Vanessa Dezem – Bloomberg Business, 7/22/2015
EcoSolifer AG, a Swiss solar company, is planning a panel plant in Brazil as the country seeks to develop a domestic supply chain for photovoltaic components.
The company is evaluating locations now for a facility that will assemble imported cells into about 80 megawatts of panels a year, said Bruno Zacharias, head of the company’s operations in Brazil.
Brazil has less than 35 megawatts of solar capacity, an insignificant part of its power supply. It’s seeking to promote wider use and has introduced policies encouraging manufacturers to open factories. Zacharias said his plant will also start producing cells within five years, the most important component, something none of his competitors is doing.
Ron Bousso and Stephen Eisenhammer – Reuters, 7/08/2015
Brazil gave the green light to oil major Royal Dutch Shell to buy smaller rival BG, advancing the $70 billion merger — the largest of the past decade — closer to completion in early 2016.
Shell is set to become the largest foreign operator offshore Brazil after it buys BG, so the clearance from the country was a crucial step to complete the merger on time.
Brazil’s competition authority CADE said on Wednesday it had given preliminary approval to the transaction “without restrictions.” BG said that if no appeals were lodged or referrals made in the next 15 days, CADE’s clearance would become final. A spokesman for Shell confirmed the approval and the 15-day appeals period.
Steve Schwartzman – EDF, 6/30/2015
Presidents Obama and Rousseff deserve credit for putting climate change at the top of their bilateral agenda today.
Public commitment to a strong Paris outcome from two major emitters that are already taking significant action on climate is more than welcome. Restoring 12 million hectares of degraded forest, as President Rousseff has pledged, is a positive contribution – albeit no more than Brazil’s current law mandates.
It is highly promising that the two major economies are creating a high-level working group to move the climate change agenda forward. Particularly interesting is the pledge to develop innovative public-private finance mechanisms both for clean energy and the forestry sector.
Smiti Mittal – Clean Technica, 7/06/2015
A consortium led by Alstom has won a major order to expand transmission capability of the power network in Brazil as the South American country gets ready for expansion of its renewable energy infrastructure.
Alstom has been awarded the €100 million contract by Eletrosul Centrais Electricas S/A to integrate wind energy projects in Brazil with the transmission network. The projects are located in Rio Grande do Sul State.
Alstom will provide two new substations and expand six existing substations. The project is expected not only to integrate the upcoming wind energy projects but also other renewable energy projects to be announced and implemented in the future. Alstom will supply its products, software, and automation technologies with equipment produced locally at Canoas and Itajuba sites in Brazil.
Smiti Mittal – Clean Technica, 7/06/2015
SunEdison continues to expand its footprint into emerging renewable energy markets. The world’s largest renewable energy project developer has now acquired stake in a Brazilian renewable energy project developer.
SunEdison has announced that it will purchase 15.87% stake in Brazil’s second largest clean energy project developer Renova Energia for a sum of $250 million. SunEdison had signed a letter of intent to acquire stake in Renova in May but the deal has been executed now.
In May, Renova had sold some renewable energy assets to SunEdison’s yieldco TerraForm Global. The assets, that include hydro power and wind energy projects, have a cumulative installed capacity of 336.2 MW. SunEdison also enjoys the right to acquire a further 1,870 MW capacity from Renova.
Jackie Northam – NPR, 6/30/2015
It’s rare that a world leader will cancel a planned state visit to the White House, but that’s what happened two years ago when Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff found out that the U.S. had been spying on her and her top aides.
The Brazilian leader is now trying to let bygones be bygones, and is in Washington, D.C., to visit with President Obama.
Rousseff’s decision to cancel the state visit — with its formal dinners and high-profile meetings — threw a strong and robust bilateral relationship into disarray, says Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society.