Text for discussion:
Commented summary of the MCT bulletin of 11/30/2009
1 - Introduction
The Ministry of Science and Technology has published on October 30 a bulletin with general information and preliminary values concerning the Brazilian Inventory of greenhouse effect gases emissions (1). The Inventory is available at
The Economy and Energy periodical has put this bulletin at the disposition of its readers at
The Inventory values are the result of studies carried out by about 700 specialists and 150 governmental and non-governmental entities and entities of the industry sector. The Inventory is part of the Second Communication to the Climate Convention and it will be submitted until March 31, 2011 and 2000 is its base year.
A summary of the published information will be presented in what follows as well as some considerations about emissions compared with that of the world and its relationship with the GDP growth.
2 – Greenhouse Effect Gases (GHG) Emissions
The GHG that are part of the Inventory and those that have been presented in the bulletin are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). The clorofluor carbons (CFC) perfluorcarbons (PFC) and sulfur hexafluorite (SF6) gases are also estimated in the present Inventory.
The Inventory data are presented for 1990 and 1994 (extreme years of the previous Inventory), for 2000 (last year foreseen for the Second Inventory that will include the 1990 to 2000 period) and for 2005 (last year for which complete data are available).
The Inventory follows the guidelines suggested by IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), that organizes emissions according to sectors of the economy. These sectors are listed in Appendix 1, as they are listed in the MCT bulletin.
The GHG can be accounted for by the mass of each one that is emitted to the atmosphere each year. In order to have a global idea of emissions it is useful to express them in values equivalent to CO2 that is the most important greenhouse gas regarding global warming. Some CO2 removals are accounted for as well.
In what follows it is presented the GHG emissions in CO2 equivalent that is based on the GWP (Global Warming Potential) which is a scale that compares each gas with the same mass of CO2 (that is 1 by definition) and that has not been adopted by Brazil in its first Inventory. In the GWP equivalence the time horizon commonly used is 100 years in order to compare the different gases. Table 3.1 presents GHG emissions in CO2 equivalent for selected years. Table 3.1 shows emission by gas in CO2 equivalent and in the first column the equivalence factor used.
Table 3.1 - Emissions and removals of GHG in CO2eq
Source: MCT (1)
Figure 3.1 shows emissions of greenhouse effect gases for the selected years showing the growth along time and the predominance of CO2 followed by CH4 and N2O. The other gases have little importance for the Inventory. Between 1994 and 2005 there was a 48% growth that corresponds to an annual growth of 3.7%. Between 1990 and 2005 total GHG emissions have grown 62% and the annual value is 3.3%.
Figure 3 3.1: GHG Emissions by Gas in CO2eq.
Source: MCT (1)
Figure 3.2 compares the relative importance of the GHG showing that the CO2 share has increased from 69% to 72% while those of methane (20% to 18%) and N2O (11% 10%) have decreased. The share of other gases is very reduced (0,2%).
Figure 3.2: Share of emissions in 1990 and 2005 showing the growth of relative importance of CO2 emissions.
Source: MCT (1)
Figure 3.3 permits to compare the contribution of the different GHG to the world emissions with those of Brazil in the previous figure. The shares of methane and nitrous oxide are higher in Brazil due to the larger relative importance of the agriculture/husbandry sector.
Source: Comissariat general au développement durable – CGDD – França (2)
GHG emissions are presented below for the main sectors in mass of each gas and the total values are expressed in CO2 equivalent. More details of emission by sector and from some activities can be found in Annex 2 in mass of CO2 equivalent.
Table 4.1 presents CO2 emissions by sector.
Table 4.1 – CO2 Emissions and removals by sector
Source: MCT (1)
The largest contribution to CO2 emissions is due to Changes in Land Use and Forests followed down below by energy. It should be noted that in the inventory approach energy means the type of use. That is, emissions due to energy use in industry and agriculture are accounted for in the energy sector. For this reason there are no CO2 emissions in the agriculture/husbandry sector where emissions are those from non-energy uses. In the agriculture/husbandry sector there are mainly CH4 and N2O emissions.
Table 4.2 presents CH4 emissions by sector for selected years.
Table 4.2 – CH4 Emissions and removals by sector
Source: MCT (1)
Methane emissions are mainly due to the agriculture/husbandry sector. It should be noted that in Table 4.2 it is also shown the total emission in CO2 equivalent calculated by multiplying the methane mass by 21, as indicated.
Table 4.3 presents the N2O emissions by sector.
Table 4.3 - N2O Emissions and removals by sector
Source: MCT (1)
The largest contribution to N2O emissions is from the Agriculture/Husbandry Sector. It is also shown in Table 4.3 the total emission in CO2 equivalent calculated by multiplying the methane mass by 310, as indicated.
Tables 4.4a and 4.4b present hidrofluorcarbons and perfluorcarbons emissions by sector both in mass units and mass of CO2 equivalent.
Table 4.4a - HFC-23, HFC-134, CF4, C2F6 and SF6 Emissions in tons (Industrial Processes)
Source: MCT (1)
Table 4.4b - HFC-23, HFC-134, CF4, C2F6 and SF6 Emissions in mil tons (or Gg) of CO2eq (Industrial Processes)
Note: The values of this table were obtained by multiplying the values of the previous one by the factors indicated in the first column and then divided by 1000, taking into account the unit used in this table
Refrigeration equipment and aluminum production are the main industrial processes that contribute to the emissions presented in Table 4.4a and Table 4.4b.
A summary of emissions by sector in CO2 equivalent is shown in Table 4.5
Table 4.5 – Anthropic Emissions and removals of GHG (Summary)
Source: MCT (1), IBGE (3)
In Table 4.5 it can also be observed the variation along the 1990/2005 period. The accumulated percent variations show that emissions have grown at a rate larger than that of the GDP for energy (68%), deforesting (70%) and wastes (77%). The GDP growth (47%) was slightly larger than that of agriculture (42%) and than that of industrial processes (39%).
The evolution of emissions values in the four years selected for the Inventory is shown in Figure 4.1
Evolution of Emissions in CO2 equivalent
Figure 4.1: Evolution of GHG emissions in CO2eq in selected years by sector
Table 4.6 shows the emission values relative to 1990 for each sector and year and the annual growth rate between chosen years and for the whole period (last column). It can be observed that for the 2000/2005 period the sectors that had grown much more than the GDP (energy and reforesting) presented a lower growth. In the energy case, the higher oil price has contributed to reactivate the use of renewable fuels and there has been a reduction in deforesting maybe due to a higher repression of illegal activities.
Table 4.6 - Emissions and GDP:
Figure 4.2 presents the shares of GHG emissions by sector in chosen years between 1990 and 2005. It can be observed that there has not been drastic variation in the sectors´ share. In 2000 the agriculture share had a significant reduction but this is due mainly to the large growth of the deforesting share.
Share of Sectors in
Figure 4.2: Percentage of GHG emissions by sector in selected years between 1990 and 2005
The Brazilian emissions are abnormally related to deforesting and agriculture as can be observed in Figure 4.3, whereas in the world emissions are concentrated in energy use. This difference is evident relative to developed countries.
Share of Sectors in CO2eq Emissions in Brazil and in the World
Figure 4.3: Comparison of Brazilian emissions in 2005 with world emissions in 2004.
Sorces: Inventory and Comissariat general au développement durable – CGDD - França (3)
The Brazilian Inventory of Anthropic Emissions and Removal of Greenhouse Effect Gases in its preliminary edition presents data of high relevance for the environmental area but with important relationship with the Brazilian social and economical development.
The Brazilian emissions profile of GHG emissions is very special and the deforesting and the agriculture/husbandry sector (mainly husbandry) have special importance in the world emissions. This is due to the fact that Brazil has the world largest tropical forest and because of the importance of the agriculture/husbandry sector and the extraordinarily clean Brazilian energy profile.
6 – Bibliographic References
Sectors included in the Inventory - Partial transcription of the MCT bulletin
The Inventory is organized according to the structure suggested by IPCC. The present document includes the following sectors:
A1.1 Energy Sector
In this sector all anthropic emissions due to the production, transformation and consumption of energy are estimated. It includes both emissions from fuel combustion and emissions resulting from leakage in the production, transformation, distribution and consumption of the energy chain.
A1.1.1 Fuel combustion
In this sector are included CO2 emissions from oxidization of carbon contained in fuels during combustion for producing other forms of energy such as electricity, as well as final consumption. The emissions of other greenhouse effect gases during the combustion process (CH4, N2O, CO, NOx and NMVOC) are also accounted for. In case of biomass fuels (charcoal, vegetal coal, alcohol, bagasse), CO2 emissions are not included here. Renewable fuels do not have net emissions and emissions associated with the non-renewable share are included in the Change of Land Use and Forests sector.
A1.1.2 Fugitive emissions
In this sector are included greenhouse gases emissions during the mining, storage, processing and transport of mineral coal and during the extraction, transport and processing of petroleum and natural gas. Emissions associated with mineral coal include CH4 emissions during mining and processing and CO2 emissions from spontaneous combustion in waste piles. Emissions associated with petroleum and natural gas extraction include CH4 venting during transport in pipes and ships and during their processing in refineries. CO2 emissions from flaring in petroleum and natural gas extraction platforms and in refineries are also considered.
A1.2 Industrial Processes Sector
In this sector are estimated anthropic emissions from industrial productive processes that are not due to fuel combustion since they are included in the Energy sector. The mineral products, chemistry, metallurgy, paper and cellulose, food and beverage sub-sectors using HFC and SF6 were considered.
A1.2.1 Mineral products
In this sector are included CO2 emissions from cement, lime and glass production and from sodium carbonate consumption.
A1.2.2 Chemical industry
In this sector are accounted for CO2 emissions from ammonia production, N2O emissions from nitric acid production and N2O from adipic acid production.
A1.2.3 Metallurgical industry
This sector includes the steel industry and ferrous alloys industry where there are CO2 emissions from iron ore reduction and PFC and CO2 emissions from the aluminum industry.
A1.2.4 Production and use of HFC and SF6
During HFC production and use fugitive emission may occur. Also during HCFC production, HFC secondary production and its consequent emission may occur. Another greenhouse effect gas, namely SF6, which is only produced through anthropic activities, has excellent characteristics for use in electric equipment of high capacity and performance. Brazil does not produce this gas. Therefore, the informed emissions are due only to leakage from equipment installed in the country. SF6 is also used as a cover gas in magnesium production.
A1.3 AGRICULTURE AND HUSBANDRY SECTOR
Agriculture and husbandry are economic activities of great importance in Brazil. Due to its large land area for cultivation and cattle raising the country has a prominent position in the world regarding production in this sector. Different processes result in the emission of greenhouse gases described in what follows.
A1.3.1 Enteric fermentation
Enteric fermentation of herbivore ruminant animals which is part of their digestion is one of the largest sources of CH4 emission in the country. Among the different types of animals one can mention emissions from bovine herd that is the second largest in the world.
A1.3.2 Handling of animal waste matter
Animal waste matter systems can cause CH4 and N2O emissions. The anaerobic decomposition produces CH4 mainly when the waste is stored in liquid form.
A1.3.3 Rice cultivation
When rice is cultivated in paddy fields or lowland areas it is an important source of CH4 emissions. This occurs due to the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in water. However in Brazil most of the cultivated rice is produced in non-flooded areas thus reducing the importance of the sector regarding total CH4 emissions.
A1.3.4 Burning of agriculture residues
The burning of agriculture residues which is imperfect because it is naturally made in the field causes the emission of CH4, N2O, NOx, CO and NMVOC. In Brazil the practice of agriculture residues burning occurs mainly in sugar cane cultivation.
A1.3.5 N2O emissions from agricultural soils
N2O emissions in agricultural soils are due to the use of nitrogenous fertilizers both synthetic and animal and to the deposition of animal waste in pastures. The latter is not considered as fertilization since it is not intentional but it is important in Brazil because of the predominance of extensive cattle raising. Vegetation residues left on the field, a nitrogen source, and the process of biological fixing of this element that occurs in soy, are a source of N2O emission as well. It is included in this sector the cultivation of organic soils that increases mineralization of organic matter and produces N2O.
A1.4 CHANGES IN LAND USE AND FORESTS SECTOR
Change in land use results in carbon loss or gain both in aerial biomass and in the soil. In contrast to the first Inventory where only two transitions were considered (conversion of forests for other uses and regeneration of abandoned areas), the second Inventory uses the more detailed IPCC methodology and considers all possible transitions among different uses (native vegetation, agricultures, pastures, secondary vegetation, foresting, urban area, flooded areas and reservoirs and other uses). In the present communication the CO2 removal in native vegetation areas is not considered since it was considered as non-anthropic. This conservative criterion restricts comparison with other countries since it does not follow the IPCC guideline that recommends accounting for all areas considered as treated. This question is extremely relevant and should be discussed during the consolidation period of the Inventory. In this sector are also included CO2 emissions from lime application on agricultural soils.
A1.5 WASTE TREATMENT SECTOR
A1.5.1 Disposal of solid wastes
Disposal of solid waste creates anaerobic conditions that generate CH4. The CH4 emission potential increases according to improvement of control conditions of land filling and the depth of the waste repository.
A1.5.2 Sewage treatment
Effluents with a high degree of organic content have a large potential for CH4 emissions, specially domestic and commercial sewage, effluents from food and beverage industry and from paper and cellulose industry. The other industries also contribute to this emission but to a lesser degree. In the case of domestic sewage, as a function of nitrogen content in human foodstuff, there are also N2O emissions.
Emissions and anthropic removals of greenhouse effect gases in CO2eq (details)
 The biomass stock variation as that of forests is accounted for separately.
Graphic Edition/Edição Gráfica:
Friday, 03 February 2012.