Brazil: Government implements zero methane program and federal strategy encouraging the sustainable use of biogas and biomethane


In brief

On 22 March 2022, Federal Decree No. 11,003/2022 setting up the Federal Strategy to Encourage the Sustainable Use of Biogas and Biomethane (“Federal Strategy”) was published. That same day, MMA Directive No. 71/2022, establishing the National Program for the Reduction of Methane Emissions (“Zero Methane Program”) in support of the commitments that Brazil made last year at COP-26 in Glasgow, Scotland, was also published.

Futher details 

The Federal Strategy aims to encourage programs and actions for reducing methane emissions, promote the use of biogas and biomethane as renewable sources of energy and fuel, and help the country achieve its environmental commitments.

Carbon market incentives, particularly methane credits, were also defined as part of the Federal Strategy guidelines. Some instruments were also foreseen for this strategy, such as the National Green Growth Program and RenovaBio (national policy for biofuels).

For the purposes of the Federal Strategy, the main sources of biogas and biomethane being considered are urban and rural waste (e.g., waste disposed of in landfills; waste from the sugar-energy chain; and waste from pig breeding, poultry farming, and others).

Meanwhile, the Zero Methane Program defines similar guidelines such as: developing the carbon market, especially through methane credits; promoting sectorial plans and agreements; encouraging the creation of green points and corridors for the supply of biomethane-powered vehicles; and supporting the implementation of technologies that allow the use of methane by products as sources of energy and renewable fuel, among others.

This initiative will allow the generation of credits both for the reduction of methane emissions from organic waste and for the avoided carbon emissions by replacing fossil fuels. The Zero Methane Program will also benefit the revenue of enterprises that promote the above technologies, making the implementation of biogas and biomethane projects more feasible.

According to a document released by the Ministry of Environment, Brazil could explore a kind of Green Pre-Salt, with an estimated capacity of 120 million m³ of biomethane per day from organic waste.

Our Environment, Consumer Affairs, and Sustainability team is available to provide further clarification on the subject.

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