Catalyzing Investment in Urban Sustainability
U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on
Urban Sustainability


Sub-National Climate Change Policies

Policy Overview

Understanding the challenge that climate change presents at a sub-national level, both the State and the City of Rio de Janeiro have passed nation-leading sub-national climate change laws and instituted policies to decrease emissions and improve sustainability in the region. The State passed its Policy on Global Climate Change and Sustainable Development (PEMC) in 2010, which sets sectoral emissions reduction goals and lays out priorities for climate change adaptation through 2030. The law requires that the carbon intensity of the State be less in 2030 than in 2005, and outlines waste and sewage, transportation, energy, and industry as key areas for potential emissions reductions.

The City passed its law in early 2011, establishing phased overall greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals through 2020, including an 8 percent reduction through 2012. The City has also begun working to address climate vulnerability through mapping to understand physical and socio-economic challenges. Both of these plans incorporate climate change into the broader sustainability goals and plans of their respective governments, incorporating ecosystem management, green economy goals, and social development priorities into their approaches to climate change. Community involvement, outreach, and education are also key elements of each plan.

How to Apply this Policy

Establishing targeted emissions reductions first requires an emissions inventory, which the State and City have produced outlining key emissions sectors. The State has outlined actions to reduce greenhouse gases in each sector as well as its overarching management regime for greenhouse gases: a registry of sectoral greenhouse gas emitters and sinks, the development of a Climate Change Information System, Ecological-Economic Zoning rules, an Environmental Conservation and Urban Development Fund, and a forest inventory. The policy also promotes the development of regional market mechanisms to reduce emissions, and plans to launch a market with environmental finance platform BVRio in mid-2012.

The City has set phased goals for the entire municipality, aiming for a 20 percent reduction by 2020. Given that the waste and transportation sectors produce 48.3 percent of municipal emissions, these areas are receiving special attention by the government. Further, the City aims to sequester carbon through reforestation and forest conservation efforts. The City also has a Municipal Fund for Climate Change and Sustainable Development to help support research, technology development, and projects.

Contact Information
Bruno Neele
International Relations, City of Rio de Janeiro 

Different levels of sub-national government have worked to develop emissions reduction strategies across the globe, including the collaborative effort of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). This market-based program covers nine U.S. states in the country's northeast region and sets a cap on emissions from the power sector to reduce CO2 emissions 10 percent by 2018.