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Decomposition of CO₂ emissions change from energy consumption in Brazil: Challenges and policy implications

de Freitas, Luciano Charlita, Kaneko, Shinji
Energy policy 2011 v.39 no.3 pp. 1495-1504
carbon, carbon dioxide, economic development, energy, energy use and consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, issues and policy, Brazil
This study evaluates the changes in CO₂ emissions from energy consumption in Brazil for the period 1970–2009. Emissions are decomposed into production and consumption activities allowing computing the full set of energy sources consumed in the country. This study aims to develop a comprehensive and updated picture of the underlying determinants of emissions change from energy consumption in Brazil along the last four decades, including for the first time the recently released data for 2009. Results demonstrate that economic activity and demographic pressure are the leading forces explaining emission increase. On the other hand, carbon intensity reductions and diversification of energy mix towards cleaner sources are the main factors contributing to emission mitigation, which are also the driving factors responsible for the observed decoupling between CO₂ emissions and economic growth after 2004. The cyclical patterns of energy intensity and economy structure are associated to both increments and mitigation on total emission change depending on the interval. The evidences demonstrate that Brazilian efforts to reduce emissions are concentrated on energy mix diversification and carbon intensity control while technology intensive alternatives like energy intensity has not demonstrated relevant progress. Residential sector displays a marginal weight in the total emission change.