Executive Director, Brazil-U.S. Business Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
October 30, 2023
Brazil and the U.S. are well positioned to be leaders in the transition to a sustainable global economy while ensuring both energy security and food security. Through a strategic partnership that recognizes the critical roles of both the business community and government, we can leverage the rich natural resources of our two nations to develop and deploy clean energy, critical minerals, nature-based solutions, and climate-smart agriculture.
In late September, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce led a Green Tech Business mission to Brazil. In partnership with the office of the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the participation of six US government agencies, we convened more than 80 business executives from the energy, agriculture, and financial sectors for high-level dialogues with Brazilian authorities at the national, state, and municipal levels and other important stakeholders.
While climate policies are still evolving in Brazil, the officials with whom we met demonstrated a commitment and readiness for the green transition. This includes development of inclusive sustainability policies that recognize the cultural and economic diversity of its population.
Brazil is a living laboratory for developing nature-based solutions, offering exciting opportunities for building a bioeconomy and ecosystem services. Public-private partnerships can be leveraged to enhance these opportunities. Sustainable use of Brazil’s forests and farmland remains an urgent priority, and our GreenTech mission highlighted opportunities to utilize land restoration, regenerative agriculture, and traceable livestock practices to help achieve that objective. Notably, actions by Brazil’s national government have already led to a 48% reduction in Amazon deforestation in 2023 compared to the same period last year, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research.
Brazil is in a unique position to increase land-use productivity and efficiency without expanding into new areas, enhancing the important role it already plays in meeting global food demand. Our discussions addressed the need to prioritize frameworks for climate-smart agriculture that ensure productivity growth, traceability of commodities and livestock, and precision agriculture. Broadband connectivity in rural areas is also essential for the deployment of new technologies, with small producers at the center of these solutions. Technical assistance and affordable financing solutions will be critical for the transition to climate-smart production.
As for the energy transition, along with its responsible development of oil and natural gas resources, Brazil’s enormous potential to produce sustainable aviation fuel, renewable power generation, and low carbon hydrogen, combined with its abundance of critical minerals, will require appropriate market signals through government policy. Technology advances in these areas are increasing productivity and energy efficiency, while reducing emissions and the use of natural resources. Exchanging information and best practices for regulatory frameworks and economic incentives will help these industries reach scale and become commercially viable and is imperative to unlocking this potential.
With COP28 convening soon and Brazil assuming the presidency of the G20, our two countries can demonstrate global leadership in advancing climate solutions while enhancing both energy and food security by working together. How climate policies affect trade flows, procurement, certification and standards programs are all important considerations that should be addressed through public-private partnership.
Our GreenTech Business Mission provided a platform to begin those important discussions. We are confident that continuing on this journey will lead to constructive and effective solutions.
About the authors
Carvalho is the executive director of the Brazil-U.S. Business Council. She serves as an adviser for the governments of Brazil, the United States, and others, as well as for multi-national corporations, multilateral agencies, international financial institutions and industry associations.