Fact Sheet: U.S.-Brazil Environmental Cooperation

February 10, 2023 

“Addressing the climate crisis requires impactful global partnerships and Brazil will be a key partner in identifying and implementing solutions for this crisis.” 

John Kerry
U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate 

Brazil and the United States share similar environmental challenges and a 200-year history of cooperation. Our two nations continue to collaborate on the protection and preservation of the environment, while promoting sustainable economic growth.

In their meeting at the White House on February 10, 2023,  Presidents Biden and Lula instructed the high-level U.S.-Brazil Climate Change Working Group, established in 2015, to reconvene as soon as possible to discuss areas of cooperation including fighting deforestation and degradation, enhancing the bioeconomy, bolstering clean energy deployment, strengthening adaptation, and promoting low-emission agriculture practices.  As part of these efforts, the United States announced its intent to work with Congress to provide funds for programs to protect and conserve the Brazilian Amazon, including initial support to the Amazon Fund. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry announced a visit to Brazil in early 2023 to explore next steps. 

Environmental cooperation between the U.S. and Brazil is focused on addressing critical challenges, such as:

  • Countering the climate crisis by pursuing ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, sharing best practices, and building capacity among diverse Brazilian stakeholders.
  • Fire prevention and management by working with specialized Brazilian entities to build capacity and invest in fire prevention, investigation, and management programs.
  • Promoting sustainable forest economies, mainly by promoting the conservation of the Amazon forest and its biodiversity through sustainable development and investment.
  • Protecting the urban environment by sharing expertise/best practices and investing in institutional capacity building, with an emphasis in water management.
  • Combating conservation crimes by working together on identifying, investigating, and prosecuting conservation crimes, building law enforcement capacity of Brazilian government officials and local communities, and enhancing collaboration at national and local levels.
  • Preventing and responding to environmental disasters by exchanging information and best practices, partnering in managing and investigating incidents, and improving relevant regulatory frameworks. And
  • Promoting planning and management of public lands for conservation and tourism by working with Brazilian government officials and with local communities to improve use and management of public land and protected areas and increase their sustainable economic performance.

Climate Change

Brazil and the United States have committed to substantially reduce net greenhouse gas emissions, with Brazil aiming to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and eliminate illegal deforestation by 2028. The United States and Brazil maintain ongoing dialogue on eliminating illegal deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and other climate-related issues.

In August 2022, President Biden signed the most significant climate legislation to date and the single, largest investment in climate and clean energy solutions in U.S. history. This new law aims at funding a rapid increase in clean energy technology and stronger accessibility, reliability, and security of alternative energy sources.

In November 2022 CBA – Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBAV3) became the first company in Brazil to join the First Movers Coalition, launched by U.S. President Joe Biden at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26).

Fire Prevention and Management 

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), together with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), work to increase capacity for fire prevention and control for communities in the Amazon, with funding totaling US$5 million. USAID is supporting a US$500,000 fire management program to build the Brazilian Environment Ministry’s (MMA) capacity to identify fire origin, and manage, prevent, and communicate fire causes.

Sustainable Forest Economies

USAID’s core environmental program, the bilateral Partnership for Conservation of Amazon Biodiversity (PCAB) provides US$ 10-15 million per year, and supports the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA), a collective action platform that engages private sector companies and civil society organizations to develop and identify innovative solutions for sustainable development and conservation of the Brazilian Amazon. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) – USAID/Brazil PSE partner – also granted US$ 15 million in seed funding for the Amazon Biodiversity Fund (ABF). ABF plans to fundraise approximately US$ 50 million by early 2023.

USAID funds a program supporting the development of sustainable value chains with territorial and environmental management of Indigenous lands and other Protected Areas (Unidades de Conservação) in the states of Amazonas, Rondonia, and Pará, with a focus on Brazil-nut, pirarucu fish, açaí fruit, community-based managed timber and community-based tourism.  Activities take place in 26 Indigenous lands and 22 conservation units, benefitting approximately 500 producers and 400 traditional and Indigenous communities. 

In just the last year, our partnership through USAID prevented more than 30 million tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (the equivalent of burning nearly 80 million barrels of oil) and improved management of 45 million hectares of land in the Brazilian Amazon.  USAID investments supported 189 Protected Areas — of which 83 percent were Indigenous Peoples lands. 

Protecting the Urban Environment

In January 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the MMA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that has led to training over 400 Brazilian specialists, sharing expertise and best practices for water and wastewater management.