In a policy brief published by the Centre for Remote Sensing of UFMG , students from the Postgraduate Program in Analysis and Modeling of Environmental Systems and researchers from the laboratory present possible solutions to decarbonize the transport sector in Minas Gerais, which is responsible for 59% of total emissions from the state’s energy sector.

According to them, if Minas Gerais wishes to fulfill the commitment made by joining the Race to Zero campaign, which aims to reduce CO2 emissions in the state, actions must be expanded beyond those contained in the National Biofuels Policy and the RenovaBio program. The program’s current emission reduction targets are around 200 thousand tons of CO2-equivalent, that is, just 0.1% of the state’s total emissions.

The analysis reveals that a possible path would be investment in low-carbon public purchases in the transport sector, that is, incorporating the low carbon emission criterion when carrying out bidding processes in the transport sector in the state of Minas Gerais. As public purchases generate large sums (an estimated 10% of national GDP), they have the power to access a market unreachable for the common consumer and stimulate competition, innovation and growth in low-carbon industry. Over time, this action has the potential to reduce the prices of low-carbon technologies and then make them accessible to consumers.

According to the study, although the government has been adopting a higher percentage of biodiesel incorporated into regular diesel over the years, the gains made in reducing emissions have been suppressed by the growing sale of diesel both in the state and in the country. If Minas Gerais started to use pure biodiesel in its entire bus fleet, it would be possible to reduce emissions from the Minas Gerais transport sector by around 7.6%.

Even though the benefits of switching to biodiesel are clear, the researchers warn that the increase in demand for biofuel cannot be accompanied by pressure to open new cultivation areas in areas of native vegetation, which would lead to increased emissions in other areas. sectors, thus a movement contrary to the objective of zero emissions.

Read the full policy brief here.