Feature Stories

Environmental research in Amazon Basin in Brasil

Environmental research in the Amazon Basin, Brazil

Building Country Profiles

Satisfying Brazil's Energy Demands, Without Sacrificing the Environment

Staff Report

Making energy more affordable for Brazil's 170 million people without plundering the country's unique natural resources is a focus of a new IAEA/Brazilian partnership. The IAEA has teamed up with Brazil to construct what is known as a 'Country Profile', to provide a framework for assessing Brazil's sustainable energy development strategies. The Profile guides the structure and monitors the effectiveness of environmentally friendly strategies to meet Brazil's growing energy demands.

The partnership will result in an overall assessment of Brazil's energy system, a review of potential future energy demand scenarios, comprehensive sustainable energy strategies, and a plan for continued monitoring of the effectiveness of these strategies in moving the country towards a sustainable energy future. It also builds analytical capacity in a number of participating Brazil institutions.

As the third largest energy consumer in the Western Hemisphere, Brazil is "an ideal candidate for demonstrating the feasibility and merits of constructing such a profile," an IAEA partnership submission to the World Summit on Sustainable Development reported. It is the world's fifth most populous country; it uses the full spectrum of energy options; and it is one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the Latin American region. Brazil is also home to 30% of the planet's tropical forest.

Brazil is not alone in its challenge to meet the energy needs of its people, without destroying the environment. Countries all over the globe face similar hurdles. It is anticipated that Brazil's country profile will serve as a template for others. "Ideally, countries should be able to construct a profile of their own progress towards a sustainable energy future," the IAEA partnership submission said.

A comprehensive set of statistical energy indicators - Indicators for Sustainable Energy Development, or ISED - will be used to help build Brazil's country profile, which, in turn, is expected to demonstrate the applicability of the ISED approach to energy policy assessment.

The partnership currently includes the IAEA (lead partner), the Center for Biomass (CENBIO) of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil and the Graduate School of Engineering (COPPE) of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. An Ad-hoc Expert Committee to oversee the project will be chaired by Prof. José Goldemberg (Brazil) and include experts from COPPE, CENBIO, the IAEA and UNDESA.

A final report will be completed in 2004. The full partnership submission is available here.