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Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean

Brazil – looking behind the bad press

Brazil is widely seen as an environmental “bad boy” in the international press, some would say deservedly so, because of its current government’s refusal to take more active measures to try and halt or roll back deforestation in the Amazon. Deforestation is certainly a serious risk to any energy transition process, since it increases net CO2 emissions across all economic sectors. However, there are also a number of long-standing factors at work in Brazil which can be seen as positive for the energy transition, including the country’s abundance of hydro-electric energy, decades of experience in the production of biofuels (including the use of ethane from sugar cane), and, unlike Mexico, a broadly supportive policy towards other renewables such as wind and solar. As the largest economy and biggest oil producer in Latin America, Brazil is also able to capture significant economies of scale as it develops sustainable fuels.

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