Sustainable Energy Blueprint

Geographical location:

Latin America/Caribbean > South America > Brazil


This project will undertake an ambitious analysis of the potential contribution of energy efficiency and renewable and clean energy technologies to Brazil’s energy needs. It will define a policy and regulatory action plan to meet the country’s energy needs in a sustainable way in both the medium (2020) and long-term (2040-2050).

It will also seek to establish a wide coalition between non-governmental organizations (NGOs), scientists, clean energy industry groups, financiers and policy makers committed to the implementation of the Brazilian sustainable energy blueprint.

A communication campaign will target policy makers, financiers and utility managers, with a view to creating a supportive policy and regulatory environment for attracting national and foreign investment in sustainable energy projects.


Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world with an economy roughly equal to that of all other South American countries combined. Its per capita carbon dioxide emissions are less than half of the world average, largely because of the country's heavy reliance on hydropower (more than 90%), which produces few greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Energy demand is expected to grow 6% a year over the next decade, due to the development of energy intensive industries. Under the current energy model, many of the country’s new power plants are likely to be based on fossil fuels (mostly natural gas). Without alternative policies and measures, GHG emissions will thus increase rapidly.

Meeting the growing power demand in the Brazilian power sector is a big challenge to national policy makers, industry and civil society. The power sector model that Brazil chooses to develop could result in significant social and environmental impacts.

Furthermore, it may also influence the global response to environmental issues such as climate change, as Brazil is considered an environmental leader among developing countries. Under the Caribbean and Latin American Initiative for Sustainable Development, Brazil has promoted the adoption of a regional renewable energy target of 10% by 2010. This was officially presented at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian government has recently announced plans to reform the energy sector, re-launch the national nuclear programme and undertake a 4-year national infrastructure plan, including several large-hydro and natural-gas projects.

n the last few years, a number of NGO activities targeting the power sector have been undertaken. For example, in 2002, in the lead up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the NGO Working Group on Energy issued a Declaration for a Sustainable Energy Policy for Brazil. This was followed by a seminar exploring the potential options for a sustainable energy sector. However, most of these initiatives have limited policy impact as they lack a strong technical background and they are not able to mobilize enough support from other key stakeholders, including the financial and business sectors.

These experiences point towards the urgent need to develop a technically coherent and attractive civil society blueprint on sustainable energy and use it as a tool around which a wide coalition between NGOs, academia and clean energy groups can be created to promote reform.

The execution of the project builds on model and experience developed by the global WWF PowerSwitch! campaign, currently implemented in over 18 countries worldwide.


Encourage the Brazilian government to adopt a sustainable energy blueprint to provide clean and affordable energy services for all Brazilians, while setting the power sector on a sustainable and low-carbon path.


The project will consist of the following 8 main activities:

1. Sustainable energy blueprint. The project will commission an up-to-date scenario analysis for the Brazilian power sector that:
- Assesses the realistic implementation potential of demand side management and new renewable energies to the national energy mix.
- Evaluates the potential effects in terms of job creation, resource productivity, energy security and environmental protection.
- Identifies the key policy and regulatory bottlenecks hindering the achievement of the sustainable energy scenario.
- Proposes a set of priority policy recommendations to address identified barriers.

2. Consultation and strategy workshops. Jointly with the Brazilian NGO working group on energy and clean energy industry groups, 2 workshops will be organised to validate the scenario analysis, reinforce NGO understanding of sustainable power markets, identify key elements of a policy and regulatory reform, and design a targeted advocacy strategy.

3. Sustainable energy group. The project will facilitate the creation of a high level Brazilian clean energy group, which will bring together leading individuals from the mainstream economic and business community and produce a statement supporting a policy reform based on the sustainable energy blueprint.

4. Climate impact report. One report will be commissioned to analyse the impact of climate change on a specific issue of strategic importance for the country such as agriculture production and food security. The report’s findings will be presented at the sustainable energy conference and used throughout the campaign to increase awareness of Brazilian policy makers and the public about the link between global warming, economic development and energy policies.

5. Sustainable energy conference. The sustainable energy blueprint will be launched at an international conference, bringing together coalition partners with a wider audience of international, regional and national policy makers, financiers and donors.

6. Media campaign. The media campaign aims to generate a new level of media interest around the sustainable energy blueprint. The offline communications will be based on a number of press releases, features and visuals to be placed on specialised and mainstream press.

7. Campaign website. A dedicated website will be created to disseminate widely all outputs of the project and to carry out cyber campaigns in support of the sustainable energy blueprint, such as an electronic petition.

8. Campaign closing event. A campaign-closing event will be organised to show stakeholders’ support for the sustainable energy blueprint to policy makers and media, including the results of the electronic petition.

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