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  • Writer's pictureJéssica Tavares Fraga Costa

Law and the Ecological Transition in Brazil: Challenges and Perspectives in the Face of Climate Change

Jéssica Tavares Fraga Costa


Ecological transition has become a central issue on the agenda of several countries, including Brazil, because with the challenges posed by climate change, the need to create and follow an alternative system is already an undeniable reality. This brief essay is an attempt to analyze the relationship between law, ecological transition and climate change in Brazil, and to identify the challenges and prospects for building a more sustainable and resilient society.

A country rich in biodiversity and with a remarkable heritage of natural resources, Brazil faces significant challenges in the area of conservation and preservation. In a context of the need to reconcile economic development with environmental protection, the ecological transition is crucial to finding more sustainable alternatives for the exploitation of natural resources, with a view to mitigating environmental impacts in everyday life.

Global climate change poses a direct threat to ecosystems and communities around the world. In Brazil, the impacts of climate change are already evident, with an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods and heat waves, as well as the loss of biodiversity and changes in rainfall and temperature patterns:

These implications of climate change exemplify the global disaster we are experiencing and tend to worsen if states and civil society do not unite in order to minimize these consequences. In this context, which is absolutely dramatic and at the same time one of reflection and action for change, this work aims to study, list and compare strategies for preserving the environment in the face of the notion of environmental responsibility in the Brazilian context (SILVÉRIO, 2019, p.749).

Brazil has an energy matrix predominantly based on renewable sources, such as hydroelectric, biomass and wind energy, which gives the country an advantageous position in relation to the energy transition. However, the historical dependence on fossil sources such as oil and natural gas still represents a significant challenge for the country's energy and environmental sustainability.

Brazil's Energy Transition Plan aims to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase the share of renewable sources in the energy matrix, promoting efficiency in all sectors of the economy. This plan is based on the principles of sustainable development, climate change mitigation and the promotion of energy security, with the slogan "Inclusive and sustainable development to deal with the climate crisis". Despite the progress made, Brazil faces a number of challenges and obstacles in implementing the Energy Transition Plan.

These include: the uncertainties of regulatory policies, changes in government policies and regulatory instability, which can negatively affect the investment environment for renewable energies and clean technologies, as well as the lack of accountability of all sectors involved in environmental activities, such as the presence of agribusiness in policies.

Also, insufficient infrastructure, where the lack of adequate infrastructure, especially in remote areas, can limit the expansion of renewable sources and make it difficult to integrate clean energy systems into the electricity grid. And finally, there is limited funding, as mobilizing financial resources for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects is still a challenge, especially given the competitiveness of fossil sources.

The energy transition can exacerbate social and regional inequalities, especially if policies for inclusion and equity in access to clean energy are not implemented. Despite the challenges, the Energy Transition Plan offers a number of opportunities for Brazil, such as sustainable economic development. Investments in renewable energy and clean technologies can boost economic growth, create jobs and stimulate technological innovation. From this perspective, Henrique Leff teaches:

This crisis calls us to deconstruct the orders of economic and legal rationality that today legitimize production processes, property regimes and social justice procedures, thus calling for reflection on the configuration of a new legal order based on the rights that are emerging today to support the processes of ecological sustainability, cultural diversity and environmental justice. (LEFF, 2021, p.85)

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and energy security: the transition to a cleaner energy matrix contributes to mitigating climate change and fulfilling the international commitments made by Brazil; diversifying the energy matrix reduces the country's vulnerability to external shocks and increases the resilience of the energy system.

Brazil's Energy Transition Plan represents a unique opportunity to promote a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient economy, however, its successful implementation requires the commitment of various actors, including the government, the private sector, civil society and the international community. Overcoming the challenges identified and maximizing the opportunities offered by the energy transition are essential to ensuring a more prosperous and sustainable future for Brazil and the world.

Law plays a fundamental role in promoting the ecological transition, providing the necessary legal framework for environmental protection and sustainable development. Environmental law establishes norms and guidelines for the management of natural resources, the conservation of biodiversity and the prevention of pollution, among other issues related to the environment.

Despite legislative progress and the existence of robust environmental legislation, there are still significant challenges to the realization of environmental rights and the promotion of the ecological transition. Among the main weaknesses are inefficient public environmental policies, the lack of adequate environmental monitoring and inspection, and conflicts between economic and environmental interests.

Faced with the challenges posed by climate change and all the possible future scenarios, as well as the urgent need to promote the ecological transition in our country, it is essential that Brazil strengthens its policies and legal instruments for environmental protection and sustainable development, which requires an integrated and collaborative approach, involving governments, civil society, the private sector and local communities, with the aim of guaranteeing a fairer, more equitable and resilient future for all.




BRASIL. Plano para a Transformação Ecológica. Ministério da Fazenda, 2023. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 24 de nov. 2023.     


LEFF, Henrique. Ecologia política: da desconstrução do capital à territorialização da vida. Campinas–SP: editora Unicamp, 2021.


SILVÉRIO, Amanda Cristina. Planeta em ebulição: mudanças climáticas frente à responsabilização civil ambiental: pressupostos e paradigmas na sociedade de risco. Anais do Congresso Brasileiro de Processo Coletivo e Cidadania, n. 7, p. 747-766, out/2019. ISSN 2358-1557.

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