WSEAS Transactions on Business and Economics
Print ISSN: 1109-9526, E-ISSN: 2224-2899
Volume 20, 2023
Food Production and Amazon Preservation are Not Mutually Exclusive: Exploring Feasible Avenues from the Perspective of Land Use Related NDCs in Brazil
Authors: William Wills, Marcelo Moreira, Martin Obermaier, Julien Lefevre, Romulo Ely
Abstract: The COP21 Paris Agreement and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) have proven to be milestones in the operationalization of climate action at the country-level, particularly in the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector. In Brazil, AFOLU-related NDC actions in its first version envisaged the elimination of, for instance: illegal deforestation in the Amazon region, the restoration and reforestation of 12 million hectares of severely degraded lands, and the substantial expansion of sustainably produced biofuels by 2030. While Brazilian Government commitment to these NDC targets soon vanished, a specific analytical question concerns as to how far sustainable land use scenarios can contribute to non-climate benefits (i.e., socioeconomic development) despite their internal challenges of harmonizing them with environmental protection and climate change mitigation. In this paper, we analyse the potential socioeconomic and environmental synergies and trade-offs in NDC implementation, given the possibility of the demand for land in Brazil increase due to agricultural and livestock expansion. We focus our analysis on GDP growth, income distribution, and food security. We do so by integrating land-use with computable general equilibrium (CGE) models and running policy scenarios, emulating different levels of NDC and development policy implementation. Our analysis helps us to understand how social and economic outcomes do change under varying levels of commitment by decision-makers. It shows that NDC implementation in Brazil is preferable to a business-as-usual development pathway, particularly when climate change is taken into consideration. While GDP and household income appear unaffected by NDC implementation, reducing the pressure over Amazon deforestation along with other social benefits appears under more stringent NDC implementation. Those results are particularly important given the significant upward trend in Amazon deforestation recorded in the last few years and the loss of purchasing power of low-income classes observed since 2015 in Brazil. In the AFOLU sector, NDC implementation, as in its first version, could thus act as entry points for alternative development pathways. For instance, such as the ones discussed under green economy or low carbon growth paradigms - although, possible trade-offs between agricultural and other sectors will still need to be closely monitored.
Keywords: Climate policies, NDCs, Land-use modelling, CGE modelling, Food security, Brazil
DOI: 10.37394/23207.2023.20.45WSEAS Transactions on Business and Economics, ISSN / E-ISSN: 1109-9526 / 2224-2899, Volume 20, 2023, Art. #45