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UNIDO Regional Office Brazil

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  • UNIDO in Brazil

    The UNIDO Field Office in Brasília was established in 2010. UNIDO’s actions in Brazil are focused on the implementation of technical cooperation projects in the fields of renewable energy, waste management, refrigeration and air conditioning, productivity and multi-stakeholder collaboration. UNIDO’s key priority in Brazil is to promote a circular economy that encompasses productivity, economic growth and environmental sustainability.

    UNIDO Field Office

    Mr. AMADIO Alessandro (OiC)

    SHS Qd. 06, Conj. A, Bl. A
    Sala 612 - Brasil 21
    70.316-102 / Brasília
    Distrito Federal

    Tel: +55 61 3037-8440; HQ: 81582
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    Brazil has a population of over 209 million people and a GDP of 1.8 trillion US Dollars (World Bank 2018). Brazil is one of the world’s biggest democracies and has a very active participation in multilateral organizations, as well as a major influence in negotiations related to development and the environment. The country hosted the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992, also known as the Rio Conference. Brazil also hosted the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in 2012, also known as the Rio+20 Conference.



    Brazil produced a document in 2014 called "Guiding Elements of the Brazilian Position", addressing the country’s initial deliberations on the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda. National coordination led to the creation by Presidential Decree in 2016 of the National Commission for the Sustainable Development Goals (CNODS), a collegial body for the domestic monitoring of the 2030 agenda. The Commission launched its Action Plan 2017-2019 in 2017 in order to adapt the global SDGs to the national context, and Brazil presented its first Voluntary National Review on the SDGs to the United Nations in the same year. The Brazilian Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) and the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) have been carrying out studies to adapt the global SDGs to the local environment. Currently, the Special Secretariat for Social Articulation, linked to the Brazilian Presidency, is responsible for the national governance of the 2030 Agenda.

    The current Union’s Multiannual Plan (PPA), in effect from 2020 until 2023, establishes the national guidelines and objectives of the public administration for capital expenditures. Its 54 programs, 304 objectives and 1.136 goals amount to a total expenditure of US $ 1.5 trillion over the period of four years. Among its main goals are the promotion of the sustainable use of natural resources and the emphasis on sustainable urban development.

    The Ten-Year Energy Expansion Plan 2019-2029, an informational document released by the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), foresees significant changes in the Brazilian energy matrix by 2029. The Plan projects the increase in energy demand in Brazil and the need for up to $ 513.5 billion in investments by 2029 to meet this growth. According to the document, around 77% of the total investments will be absorbed by the oil and gas sector, and about 2% will be used to increase the supply of biofuels. The government studies indicate that the Brazilian internal energy supply will increase 2.9% per year until 2029. Of this amount, renewable sources may reach a 48% share in 2029.

  • UNIDO’s Representation in Brazil implements four main projects in the country, with financial support from multilateral mechanisms such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Montreal Protocol: Brazil GEF Biogas Project, Industrial Energy Accelerator, Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Equipment Manufacturing Sector Project (RAC Project). UNIDO’s projects are focused on renewable energy, waste management, refrigeration and air conditioning, productivity, energy efficiency, green economy, and multi-stakeholder collaboration.

    About the project


    The Industrial Energy Accelerator is a platform that gathers government, industry and the financial sector to develop solutions and mechanisms that promote energy sustainability and efficiency in energy-intensive industries around the world.

    The Accelerator is coordinated by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Carbon Trust an independent coalition of experts focused on low carbon technologies – and “Sustainable Energy for All”, which is a multi-stakeholder partnership between governments, the private sector and civil society, launched by the UN Secretary-General in 2011, with a focus on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (“Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”). The Industrial Energy Accelerator is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), an international financial mechanism that provides grants for projects related to environmental sustainability.

    Targets and goals

    The platform’s main goal is to disseminate policy proposals, market incentives, regulatory mechanisms and capacity-building initiatives that speed up the rate of energy efficiency practices in the industrial sector.

    The Brazilian market has a vast untapped potential to implement energy efficiency projects both in large energy intensive industries and small-and-medium enterprises. Several barriers have been identified, including lack of specific policy instruments for energy efficiency and lack of specific knowledge from the banks to evaluate energy efficiency projects and a nascent energy efficiency service market. In this regard, to unlock the potential of industrial energy efficiency in Brazil, an array of systemic policy and financial interventions is required, in addition to wide-scale capacity building and awareness raising.

    Practical examples

    The Accelerator has focused on the development of a policy simulation tool for policymakers and capacity building for the financial sectorA series of local events and training workshops have been conducted targeting senior bank managers and technical staff in order to enhance knowledge and disseminate successful experiences on energy efficiency projects. This work also includes the creation of an energy efficiency risk assessment tool for potential investors and finance providers that has been discussed with several commercial and development banks in the country. In addition, the Accelerator is working with government counterparts to recommend regulatory drivers that can enhance the uptake of industrial energy efficiency, including a series of policy cost-and-benefit impact simulations.

    Financial institutions and trade associations currently engaged with the Industrial Energy Accelerator in Brazil:

    • Brazilian Federation of Banks - FEBRABAN 
    • Brazilian Association of Law and Economy (ABDE)
    • Rio de Janeiro’s State Agency for Development (AgeRio)
    • Development Bank of Santa Catarina (Badesc)
    • Development Bank of Southern Brazil (Badesul)
    • Bank of Nordeste
    • Development Bank of Espírito Santo (Bandes)
    • Development Bank of Minas Gerais (BDMG)
    • Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES)
    • Caixa Econômica Federal (CAIXA)
    • São Paulo Development Agency (Desenvolve SP)
    • Cooperative Credit System (Sicredi)
    • Bank of Brazil
    • Santander Brazil Bank     
    • Itaú Unibanco Bank
    • Bradesco Bank

    About the project


    The Brazil GEF Biogas Project provides for local and national actions to encourage the integration of biogas into the Brazilian production chain. The project offers technical assistance for converting organic waste into sustainable energy and fuel, as well as support in the creation of business models and financial strategies related to the sector. It aims to expand the Brazilian supply of renewable energy through biogas and biomethane production, which decreases greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

    The initiative is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and coordinated by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC). In addition to these, the following entities form the Project Steering Committee: International Center for Renewable Energies (CIBiogás), Itaipu Binacional, Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), Ministry of Environment (MMA), and Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA). The Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae), the Brazilian Biogas Association (Abiogás) and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) are partner entities of the project, which is financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

    Targets and goals

    The Brazil GEF Biogas Project currently concentrates its activities in the South Region of Brazil and at the capital in the Federal District. In the South, it builds a competitive and viable business environment for the integration of biogas into agricultural production chains. At the Federal District, the project works with the local administration to convert urban organic waste into renewable energy and develop a pilot model to disseminate to other parts of Brazil once it is finished.

    The conversion of organic waste into electricity, thermal energy or fuel can become an important competitive advantage in the market and stimulate the generation of income, employment and technological innovation. In addition to renewable energy, the generation of biogas from the decomposition of organic waste also results in organic material with a high potential for agro-industrial use (digestate).

    Direct beneficiaries of the project include equipment and services industries, energy and gas concessionaires, rural producers and agricultural cooperatives, municipal administrations, science and technology institutions, and populations with high concentrations of organic waste.

    At the end of the Project, beneficiaries will have at their disposal up-to-date information on the national supply and demand of biogas, new business models geared to the sector, productive links with government institutions, updated regulations, favorable public policies, specialized financial services, demonstration units and capacity building services.

    Actions and impact

    The Brazil GEF Biogas Project currently implements the following activities:

    • Development of Sectorial Governance Groups with public and private entities at state and federal level;
    • Strengthening of biogas and biomethane value chains within Brazilian agribusinesses in the South Region, in collaboration with state governments, private companies, agricultural cooperatives and sectoral entities;
    • Cooperation with the Federal District Government for the structuring of a concession for the private sector involving solid urban waste treatment units for the generation of biogas and biomethane;
    • Development of a national database with georeferenced up-to-date information on the biogas value chain, available for free;
    • Creation of innovative business models and technological packages adapted to and validated by the Brazilian market;
    • Offer of services and resources for technical and professional training;
    • Support for Demonstration Units of technologies and processes of energy generation through biogas;
    • Provision of business arrangements and specific financial services for the sector;
    • Support for the establishment of digital communities for the biogas sector;
    • Modernization of public policies and regulations.

    External Publications

    Biogas Production Potential Report for the Brazilian South Region (in Portuguese);

    Overview of technologies applied in the biogas and biomethane agribusiness (in Portuguese).

    About the project


    The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Equipment Manufacturing Sector project (RAC Project) is carried out under the HCFCs Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) Brazil. It aims to reduce the consumption of HCFC-22 (R-22), a refrigerant that harms the ozone layer and is commonly used for the manufacturing of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. The goal of the project is to decrease future demand of R-22 in the manufacturing and service sectors. Approved in 2015, the RAC Project supports the replacement of R-22 with alternatives that do not damage the ozone layer, such as hydrocarbons (R-290), CO2, HFOs or mixtures of HFC and HFO refrigerants. The HPMP Brazil contributes to the commitments made by Brazil under the Montreal Protocol for the reduction of the production and consumption of Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS).

    The project is coordinated by the Brazilian Ministry of Environment (MMA) and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Beneficiary companies receive technical and financial support to phase out R-22.

    Targets and goals

    The execution of the project is centred on fostering technology transfer and promoting industrial innovation, with a focus on reducing production costs, improving the competitiveness of companies and increasing energy efficiency of the refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

    The project assists enterprises to adopt technologies with zero ozone depletion impact and low global warming potential (GWP), providing technical assistance for the evaluation of alternative technologies. It also supports the development and tests of prototypes, as well as technical staff training for the safe operation of new equipment. In addition, it raises awareness in the commercial sector regarding new sustainable technologies that have low impact on the global climate system.

    Practical examples

    The RAC Project currently benefits 25 companies in the refrigeration sector and three in the air conditioning sector.

    Two companies assisted by the project are presently running demonstration projects where they have developed modular chillers using R-290 as refrigerant. The prototype equipment has been installed in two supermarkets located respectively in Curitiba, in the Paraná state, and in Juiz de Fora, in the Minas Gerais state. Besides phasing-out R-22, both projects introduce in the supermarket sector energy-efficient solutions and a technology with low impact on the global climate system. These demonstration projects encourage the supermarket sector to adopt technologies that are beneficial for their business and the environment.

    In the food and beverage sector, the project assists companies to produce stand-alone commercial refrigerators and refrigerated drink dispensers. These companies are converting their productsmainly cabinets and beer coolers to the R-290 technology. Besides the phasing-out of R-22, these enterprises have reported energy efficiency improvement, reduced manufacturing costs and increased market competitiveness with a positive impact that goes beyond the commitments under the Montreal Protocol.

    In order to improve business competitiveness, the RAC Project implements Research and Development (R&D) actions that help companies to effectively use scientific and technical knowledge. The project selects universities and research centres to work with private companies and develop new products. This activity resulted in the development of a new beverage-cooling prototype (“beer cooler”) that uses R290 as refrigerant gas, in cooperation with the Federal University of Uberlândia (Minas Gerais state). This new equipment is more energy-efficient and easier to assemble than other products available on the market. It can also cool down drinks to lower temperatures, meeting requirements of the Brazilian market.

    General Impacts

    • Elimination of HCFC-22 (R-22) from the manufacturing of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment;
    • Development of equipment with higher energy efficiency and zero ozone depletion impact;
    • Optimization of production lines;
    • Training of technical staff;
    • Raise awareness about solutions with a low impact on the global climate system.

    About the project


    The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) was launched in 2013 as a response to the call at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as Rio+20, held in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), for the international community to support countries that wish to develop and implement an inclusive green economy (IGE).

    PAGE assists countries in reframing economic policies towards sustainability to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes fostering economic growth, income increase, decent labor and poverty reduction, as well as the strengthening of the ecological foundations of local economies.

    The multi-stakeholder initiative directly involves five UN agencies: the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). UNIDO’s contribution to PAGE focuses on industrial policy advice and its implementation through industry engagement, industry-related training and the consolidation of public-private partnerships.

    Targets and goals

    PAGE was launched in Brazil in 2016 to promote an inclusive green economy in the central state of Mato Grosso, which has become one of the country’s largest agricultural producer. The initiative supports Mato Grosso’s transition to a greener economy, resulting in improved human welfare and social equity. Its actions significantly reduce environmental risks and ecological imbalances of local economic activities. PAGE provides technical and financial assistance for the analysis of sustainable economic opportunities in partnership with the State Government and the private sector, promoting clean technologies, ecosystem conservation, good governance and the development of skilled labor.

    PAGE has been supporting the collaboration between family farmers, producers and traditional communities towards the promotion of sustainable development and poverty eradication in rural areas. It has also developed a study on the technical and economic potential for the generation and use of biomass and solar energy sources in the state. In other action fronts, PAGE has been supporting the regularization of informal settlements, sustainable tourism, urban planning policies, energy efficiency in the public sector, energy generation from agricultural and agroforestry waste, green jobs in the beef cattle industry, decent labor and professional training.

    Practical examples

    PAGE is currently implementing the following activities:

    • Development of evaluations and implementation plans for the incorporation of solar and biomass energy into local economic activities, in cooperation with the state government and the private sector;
    • Development of strategies for the implementation of a State Integrated Family Farming System (SEIAF), a tool that aims to promote family farming and sustainable agriculture through technical and regulatory assistance for more than 81 thousand families;
    • Support for the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR), a program focused on the environmental regularization of rural settlements, initially targeted at the Vale do Mangaval rural settlement in the city of Cáceres, at Minas Gerais state;
    • Development of a Sustainable Tourism Guidelines Manual that contributes to state policies focused on the certification of sustainable tourism products and has the potential for providing a 10% increase in local employment;
    • Elaboration of a Management Plan for the Historic Center of Cuiabá to preserve historic monuments and create jobs;
    • Development of Participatory Master Plans for Municipal Development – strategies that promote a Green Economy in municipalities with a population of less than 20 thousand inhabitants;
    • Evaluation of the potential for job and income generation in specific economic sectors at Mato Grosso state through the promotion of Green Economy practices;
    • Identification of current professional skills required for capacity building towards a more sustainable local economy.

    General impacts

    • Development and implementation of an inclusive green economy (IGE) in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso;
    • Providing technical and financial assistance for the analysis of local sustainable economic opportunities in partnership with the public and private sectors;
    • Promoting poverty eradication, renewable energy, sustainable family farming, sustainable tourism, urban planning policies, good public governance, decent labor and professional training.

  • Brazil GEF Biogas Project

    PAGE Brazil


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