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Brazil: the $200 billion low carbon opportunity

Brazil’s green growth agenda provides UK companies with significant commercial opportunities for their low carbon products and services. This report aims to describe which subsectors represent particular areas of opportunity for UK companies to participate in Brazil’s low carbon development, and illustrate where along the value chain the biggest commercial opportunities lie.

Brazil surpassed the United Kingdom as the world’s sixth largest economy in 2011, and has averaged 3.7 per cent annual growth since 2000, compared to the UK’s 1.7 per cent average rate. Steady development and industrialisation are driving growth in all sectors. However, economic growth has been accompanied by rising greenhouse gas emissions. Taking into account land use, land-use change and forestry, Brazil ranks as the world’s fourth largest greenhouse gas emitter, with emissions of roughly 1,259MtCO2e in 2008, and under a business as usual scenario, its emission are projected to climb by 35 per cent to about 1,700MtCO2e by 2030. This path is at odds with Brazil’s sustainable development agenda. Studies have shown that by applying targeted policy interventions and capitalising on cost-saving efficiency measures and practices, emissions could fall by 35 per cent, to about 810MtCO2e by 2030.

The Brazilian context was studied and low carbon opportunities were matched with areas of strong UK competitive advantage to produce the following list of six subsectors for which there is significant commercial opportunity for UK businesses: solid waste; water and wastewater; airports and aerospace; automotive, ethanol and biomass; and buildings and sports infrastructure. 

There are opportunities in different parts of the value chain including:

  • Research and development
  • Design and planning opportunities
  • Manufacturing and operation of equipment
  • Finance