06 October 2023, Brazil: Legislation aimed at creating a regulated carbon market in Brazil was approved by the senate yesterday with an amendment to exclude the agriculture sector, a decision that sparked criticism from environmentalists.
Representatives of the senate’s rural caucus lobbied to exclude agriculture from the cap-and-trade system, arguing it is difficult to quantify emissions from the sector. Mato Grosso do Sul senator and former agriculture minister Tereza Cristina said the sector wants to participate in the carbon market as a seller of credits in the future.
The approved draft bill was slammed by environmentalists, who argue the sector is a major greenhouse gas emitter and should be included.
“The bill approved by the senate today could have been one of the most advanced in the world,” Tasso Azevedo, a scientist from local NGO MapBiomas said. The exclusion of the agriculture sector from the cap-and-trade system benefits only a small fraction of farming and ranching options that would have surpassed the 25,000 t/yr CO2e limit to participate in the cap-and-trade system.
Emissions from Brazil’s farming and ranching sector reached 601mn t in 2021, up from 579mn t in 2020, according to the most recent data from Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions estimate system (SEEG). Emissions from the sector represented roughly 25pc of the country’s total in 2021.
The draft bill now goes to the lower house of congress. This chamber has several debates pending on energy transition bills, including those regulating offshore wind and carbon, capture and storage (CCS). Lower house speaker Arthur Lira has promised to prioritize environmental legislation in the remainder of the year.
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