Cassia Carvalho Cassia Carvalho
Executive Director, Brazil-U.S. Business Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


April 26, 2024


Brazil is at a pivotal moment in its ecological journey. As the world grapples with the pressing need for climate action, Brazil's Ecological Transformation Plan emerges as a testament to the country's commitment to sustainable development.

The Brazilian government, in collaboration with various stakeholders, has embarked on an ambitious plan to transition toward a greener economy. This plan encompasses a wide range of initiatives and will create sectoral roadmaps aimed at reducing carbon emissions in its robust agriculture and industrial sectors, fostering renewable energy sources, building new green industries, and preserving its diverse biomes. As Brazil hosts the G20 this year and prepares to host COP30 in 2025, the Ecological Transition Plan plays a central role in leveraging Brazil's international influence on combating climate change.

During the 2024 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C., the Brazil-U.S. Business Council hosted a roundtable with Minister Fernando Haddad, Brazil’s Minister of Finance, and Ilan Goldfjan, President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to discuss investment opportunities in Brazil’s climate transition. For these opportunities to transform into viable investments, Brazil needs to balance robust regulatory frameworks with the right market incentives and security.

Setting Priorities

Legislation currently being debated in Congress will enable the plan and other national priorities, creating regulatory frameworks and determining the future landscape of industries. Now is the time for the business community, as key stakeholders, to actively participate in shaping these policies and upcoming regulations so that they are structured to foster innovation, investments, and environmental sustainability while at the same time being both effective and implementable.  


One of the most significant pieces of legislation is the proposed framework for climate-smart agriculture. This policy aims to promote agricultural practices that are not only productive and low carbon but also environmentally friendly, including an emphasis on restoring degraded farmland. By prioritizing frameworks that ensure productivity growth, traceability of commodities and livestock, and precision and regenerative agriculture, Brazil is positioning itself as a leader in sustainable agriculture. 

Strategic cooperation between the United States and Brazil in agriculture is pivotal for advancing models that balance sustainability with food security. This collaboration should aim to incentivize sustainable agricultural practices, enhance producer access to innovative technologies, and effectively address growing barriers in food and commodities markets. By jointly developing and implementing agricultural models that prioritize ecological farming practices and technological integration, both nations can significantly boost productivity and sustainability. Such bilateral cooperation not only strengthens the agricultural sectors in both countries but also sets a global standard for sustainable and secure food production systems. 

Carbon Markets

Brazil is also betting on regulating its carbon market as a key source of financing. As these efforts move forward, it is crucial to look to the global discussions taking place to ensure transparency and accountability, as well as prevent market manipulation and fraud.

By the business community working together with Brazil, we can help create a carbon market that is more harmonized with its regulations and standards to international markets, as well as technological integration for reporting and verifying carbon credits. 

Energy Transition  

Another critical area of focus is the development of renewable energy sources. Brazil's vast potential for producing biofuels, sustainable aviation fuel, renewable power generation, low-carbon hydrogen, and critical minerals should be harnessed through appropriate government policies and market signals. Under the right conditions, Brazil should be well-positioned to become an important global supplier of clean energy. Toward this aim, the business community can be helpful by providing examples of regulatory best practices, as Brazil is considering introducing and expanding the incentives for establishing renewable energy industries and gaining a competitive advantage.  

The Brazil-U.S. Business Council is also actively participating in ongoing discussions across the other key pillars of the plan, which include technological development, bioeconomy, circular economy, infrastructure, and adaptation to climate change. 

Challenges Ahead 

The Ecological Transformation Plan is not without its challenges, however. In addition to smart regulations, ensuring access to climate financing and catalyzing investments from the private sector is essential for Brazil's climate transition. Brazil is calling for reforms of multilateral development banks to provide increased capital to developing and emerging countries, a priority topic that was discussed during the Spring and G20 meetings in the finance track.  

Under the leadership of Ilan Goldfajn, IDB is focusing on innovative financial solutions, such as the creation of a hedging platform to attract green investments in Brazil. This platform aims to mitigate currency fluctuations on investments tied to Brazil’s Ecological Transformation Plan. It is part of a broader strategy to foster environmentally responsible development through secure investment returns. 

A Path Forward 

Brazil's Ecological Transformation Plan is a comprehensive effort to align the country's economic aspirations with environmental stewardship. With thoughtful legislation and strategic partnerships, Brazil is poised to pave the way for a future that is both economically inclusive and ecologically sustainable. As the world watches, Brazil's journey toward sustainability can serve as a model for other nations seeking to balance development with the responsible use of our planet's natural resources.  

The Brazil-U.S. Business Council calls for strategic partnerships at the highest levels between Brazil and the United States, which include the active collaboration of the business community. The upcoming U.S.-Brazil High-Level Dialogue in May is an opportunity not to be missed. Let us seize this moment to advance a partnership with a global impact.

About the authors

Cassia Carvalho

Cassia Carvalho

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.

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