Transport will play a central role in achieving Brazil's mitigation goals

The Transport sector is one of the main responsible for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Brazil and in the world, largely due to the burning of fossil fuels, and will play a fundamental role in achieving our mitigation goals.

The Paris Agreement, which entered into force last Friday (4), converted the promise of reducing emissions into a legal commitment, whose central objective is to maintain the average global temperature 2ºC below pre-industrial levels. By ratifying the Agreement in September of this year, Brazil committed itself, through the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), to reduce 37% of absolute emissions by 2025, with a subsequent target of 43% by 2030, based on 2005 emissions.

Among the productive sectors, transport was one of those that presented the highest growth rates in energy consumption and GHG emissions between the years 1990 and 2012, according to the Analysis of the Evolution of GHG Emissions in Brazil, survey carried out by the Climate Observatory. According to the report, emissions from the sector increased from 84 million tons in 1990 to 204 million in 2012.

A combination of factors leads us to this scenario, among them, the high dependence on fossil fuels and the predominance of road transport in cargo transport in the country. Trucks, for example, are major sources of GHG emissions and are very close to the emissions of the entire industrial sector. While the former was responsible for 82.2 million tons of emissions in 2012, the entire industrial sector emitted 91.2 million tons in the same period.

For Rasmus Valanko, director of climate and energy at World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the transportation sector presents numerous challenges and opportunities. “If on the one hand it is the sector responsible for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, it is also one of the areas that can most undergo transformations and contribute to the transition to a low carbon economy”, he explained in his presentation at the Sustainable Congress 2016, promoted by the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS).

The president of CEBDS, Marina Grossi, emphasizes the importance that the adoption of measures to make transport and logistics systems in Brazil more efficient has for the sector itself. “The transport sector could very soon appear as the main polluter in the country, as deforestation tends to fall. But it is also true that the sector has great opportunities, for example, through the still little explored issue of green bonds. Data from the Climate Bond Initiative indicate that, worldwide, transport represents 67% of the potential issue of these bonds, around US$ 460 billion”, he said.

The coordinator of the Thematic Chambers on Sustainable Mobility and Social Impact at CEBDS, Luan Santos, reinforces the urgency of thinking about solutions for the sector. “In 2015, approximately 457 million tons were issued in the energy sector in Brazil, with 43.7% only in the transport area. This reality shows the urgency of thinking about mitigating measures and policies that encourage the reduction of GHG emissions in this sector”, he said.

For Luiz Augusto Barroso, president of the Energy Research Company (EPE), the transport sector is one of the main ways to decarbonize the economy. “The focus of emission reductions should be on the transport sector. We need to explore more electric vehicles and biofuels, in addition to investing in corporate mobility, with more flexible working hours, for example", he declared during the "4th National Seminar on Greenhouse Gases - How to Decarbonize Brazil by 2050", which took place on October 27 in Rio de Janeiro, where the most recent data on emissions in the country were presented and the platform Gas Emissions Estimation System (SEEG).

The Climate Observatory document points out alternatives of greater and lesser impact aimed at reducing emissions and energy consumption in the transport sector, such as improving infrastructure and logistics in the displacement of loads from the increased participation of more efficient modes such as rail and water transport, the incorporation of vehicle technologies and increased energy efficiency in the sector. However, such measures are interdependent and require sectoral policies for their implementation. Brazil has already taken the first steps in this direction and today has one of the most successful biofuels programs.

The NDC also presents additional measures and objectives, such as increasing the share of sustainable bioenergy to 18% by 2030, expanding the consumption of biofuels, followed by increasing the supply of ethanol and increasing the share of biodiesel in the diesel mix. In addition, the Brazilian contribution also provides for the promotion of efficiency measures, improvements in transport infrastructure and mobility in urban areas.

CEBDS expands the Mobility Thematic Chamber

With the aim of expanding its field of action, CEBDS announces the reorientation of the Mobility Thematic Chamber (CTMobi), which will be renamed the Logistics and Transport Thematic Chamber (CTLog).

The initiative aims to serve the sector in a more systemic and comprehensive way. Thus, the reorientation of TC increasingly recognizes the importance of promoting and encouraging the debate around the feasibility of new and effective ways of encouraging sustainable logistics.

Marina Grossi points out that it is essential to expand discussions in the Thematic Chamber. “The private sector has a lot to contribute to improving mobility and logistics in our cities, working closely with municipal governments, showing a possible way to accelerate processes in favor of more sustainable cities, where the right to come and go is guided by low carbon solutions and high levels of efficiency and integration. In this sense, CEBDS plays a fundamental role in promoting discussions and representing the vision of companies, in order to articulate with the competent public sectors the planning and execution of alternatives for transport”, he concludes.

Want to know more about it? Access the publications Corporate Mobility - economic potential of its implementation, Road Safety Tool - Reference Manual It is Sustainable Urban Mobility, elaborated by CEBDS and WBCSD.

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