U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Evolving Energy and Land Use in Brazil and Mexico
Published: April 21, 2015
Posted: June 23, 2015

Brazil and Mexico, the two largest Latin American economies, have both announced intentions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In a basic research effort to better understand the heterogeneous nature of emissions pathways from seemingly similar economies, including dependencies to infrastructure, natural resources, and land use and land cover, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change explored a menu of energy and land-use scenarios in Mexico and Brazil. The MIT researchers used the Department of Energy-supported Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model to map the changing structure of energy supply and demand under each scenario. Researchers found that the scenarios have substantially different impacts on the economies and energy systems of the two countries due to the different sources of emissions in each nation. In Mexico, the lion’s share of emissions come from fossil energy production; Brazil’s energy system relies more on hydropower and bioenergy, so agriculture is the largest source of emissions. Researchers found that Mexico’s energy mix will shift as new, advanced low-carbon energy technologies such as natural gas and coal with carbon capture and storage (CCS) are deployed to meet the scenarios. Since Brazil has a clean energy mix to start with, reducing carbon emissions from electricity generation is more difficult, so most emissions reductions will come from agriculture. This analysis underscores how efforts to reduce carbon emissions can produce different effects at the national level, even among countries that share the same level of development.

Reference: Octaviano, C., S. Paltsev, and A. C. Gurgel. 2015. “Climate Change Policy in Brazil and Mexico: Results from the MIT EPPA Model,” Energy Economics, DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2015.04.007. (Reference link)

Contact: Bob Vallario, SC 23.1, (301) 903-5758
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Multisector Dynamics (formerly Integrated Assessment)

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)