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

Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]

Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]

Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]

Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]

Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)