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Seizing Brazil’s Climate Potential: BCS held in Paris

Webcard of Brazil Climate Summit

Hoffmann Institute

Seizing Brazil’s Climate Potential: BCS held in Paris

Seizing Brazil’s Climate Potential: BCS held in Paris

Did you know over 90% of Brazil’s domestic power comes from renewables? Brazil also holds around 10% of the world's nature-based solutions making it the number one country globally for reforestation potential. Brazil's potential as a hub for low-carbon solutions, crucial for global decarbonisation was the topic of conversation at the Brazil Climate Summit Europe (BCS Europe) in Paris on May 27th, 2024. 

The inaugural Brazil Climate Summit in Europe was a spin-off from the annual Brazil Climate Summit in New York, held during Climate Week in partnership with Columbia University. BCS Europe was organised by INSEAD MBA and GEMBA students, alongside MBA students from HEC. Hosted at Maison de L’Amérique Latine, the event attracted European investors and 150 in-person attendees as well as another 100 online. 

Opening speeches were delivered by Ricardo Neiva Tavares, the Ambassador of Brazil to France, and INSEAD Dean Francisco Veloso. The summit first showcased companies in sectors as diverse as food, cosmetics, and mining. INSEAD Professor Felipe Monteiro along with Walter Schalka, CEO of Suzano unveiled a new INSEAD case study ’The Next 100 Years of Suzano’Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation and seen as one of the key architects of the Paris Agreement, and Izabella Teixeira, former Minister of Environment of Brazil, discussed the geopolitical challenges in tackling climate change.

Boston Consulting Group’s Arthur Ramos unveiled a new BGC report “Brazil Climate Report 2024: Seizing Brazil's Climate Potential”. This report highlights Brazil’s potential to attract up to $3 trillion in low-carbon economy investments. The BCG report further highlights the untapped potential for private sector participation in green investments in Brazil. In developed economies, the private sector accounts for 81% of green investments, whereas in developing economies, it accounts for only 14%.

With the context set, the conference then took a deep dive into three main topics: exploring Brazil’s competitive advantage in renewables, exploring Brazil’s unique nature potential and Global agreements and frameworks. 

Exploring Brazil’s competitive advantage in renewables

This session had speakers from the public sector, private sector and academia, including representatives from ValeVoltaliaSchneider ElectricEDF Renewables and Siemens Energy, which was represented by the GEMBA candidate Houcine Hamdi

In 2023, Brazil achieved over 90% renewable energy usage, with hydroelectric plants ensuring system reliability and growing contributions from solar and wind energy. Clarissa Lins from Catavento Consultoria noted Brazil's significant capacity additions in these technologies, second only to China.

Luciana Costa, Managing Director at BNDES, emphasised Brazil's geopolitical stability and BNDES's role as the largest renewable energy lender globally. However, challenges include high capital costs, investment grade restrictions, and the need for regulatory frameworks. Increased demand from sectors like electric vehicles and low-carbon hydrogen related sectors such as green steel could drive further growth. 

Exploring Brazil’s unique nature potential

Speakers from leading companies and NGOS’s such as re.greenAtvosMarfrigIPAMAXA, and Mirova, shared their perspectives on Brazil’s nature potential. Brazil, a leading exporter of commodities and ethanol, faces the challenge of maintaining production while reducing deforestation. Increasing productivity and recovering degraded pastureland (twice the size of France) are key strategies to combat this challenge. Emphasising the value of natural capital and ensuring traceability in the value chain were highlighted as competitive advantages. 

According to the new BCG report, reforestation projects in Brazil cost 15% less than the global average. BCS Europe discussions centred on the scaling of such reforestation efforts with the help of advanced technologies and taking into account regulations that acknowledge the biodiversity and social benefits of reforestation projects.

Antonio Uras, President of INSEAD Alumni Association Brazil, moderated a discussion on biofuels and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Laia Barbara from the World Economic Forum highlighted the First Movers Coalition's role in advancing hard-to-abate sectors.

Global agreements and frameworks 

With Brazil hosting the G20 meeting this year and COP30 in 2025, Patricia Ellen (INSEAD MBA 05’J and Partner at Systemiq) discussed key policies like the Carbon Market, Ecological Transformation Plan, and Eco Invest, which mitigates foreign exchange risks for investors. She further stressed the importance of international collaboration towards achieving the energy transition.

Michel Frédeau, Senior Advisor at BCG, stressed that “Brazil has everything to succeed”. He noted that Brazil can exemplify how a BRICS nation can lead in global decarbonisation but at the same time stressed the need for substantial private sector investment to implement solutions at scale.

As the conference, comprising of 13 sessions drew to a close it was clear that “innovative collaboration” is needed among countries to foster decarbonization. This collaboration is crucial to unlock potential and accelerate the low-carbon transition. Finally, as highlighted by CUFA (Central Única das Favelas), we can only successfully achieve  this transition in an emerging market in a just way by leaving no one behind. 

More about Brazil Climate Summit Europe

Brazil Climate Summit Europe 2024 was sponsored by INSEAD Hoffmann Institute. The full content of the conference will be soon made available in BCS YouTube. If you wish to stay up to date with news and other events, follow Brazil Climate Summit on LinkedIn. This article was written by Luiza Boechat, Mario Higuchi and Daniel Lopes Oliveira. 

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