SAO PAULO - Brazil's government expects Congress to approve a series of energy transition-related bills in the next 100 days that it believes will boost the country's decarbonization credentials at the upcoming COP28 climate summit, an official told Reuters on Friday.
Rodrigo Rollemberg, a secretary at Brazil's development ministry, said in an interview that the package of bills are set to include projects aimed at increasing the use of renewable fuels and regulating related sectors, such as offshore wind farms.
That would allow the South American country to strengthen its "green" commitment as nations from all over the world prepare to gather in November and December in Dubai for yearly climate talks held by the United Nations.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who took office in January, has staked his international reputation on reversing environmental backsliding under his far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro, when Amazon deforestation soared.
Lula has pledged to halt illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest by 2030 and help drive an ecological transition led by renewable energy.
Rollemberg said the government-sponsored bills would be focused on four main topics: establishing a new carbon market, regulating offshore wind power, launching the "Fuel of the Future" project and regulating green hydrogen.
"They are all separate bills, but when put together there is a convergence towards sustainability that gives them economic support they otherwise would not have," Rollemberg said.
The "Fuel of the Future" project, the secretary noted, would look to stimulate production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Brazil, which Boeing recently touted as a potential top player in the sector.
The government expects to encourage the use of degraded farmland to drive SAF output. Other proposals include raising the required ethanol blending into gasoline to 30% from the current 27%, Rollemberg said.
One of the most advanced proposals, he added, is the one that would create a regulated carbon market in the country. That bill might be submitted to Congress as early as next week, the secretary said.
"We have 100 days until COP28. It's more than enough time for Congress to pass all the bills," Rollemberg said.
"Brazil has a unique opportunity in the second half to finish the year giving out very strong signals to domestic and international markets that it is the country that really intends to lead the transition to a green and low-carbon economy."
The South American nation is set to host the U.N. climate talks in 2025 in the Amazonian town of Belem.
(Reporting by Leticia Fucuchima; Writing by Gabriel Araujo Editing by Marguerita Choy)