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Brazilian Proposal
Scientific and Methodological Assessment of Contributions to Climate Change


As part of the negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol, the delegation of Brazil made a proposal in May 1997, to set differentiated emission reduction targets for Parties according to the impact of their historic emissions on temperature rise (FCCC/AGBM/1997/MISC.1/Add.3).

Recent developments


The SBSTA at its twenty-eight session (Bonn, June 2008), decided to conclude its consideration of this issue.

In the same session, the SBSTA agreed that the work carried out to date under the Brazilian Proposal has established robust methodologies to quantify historical contributions to climate change and that this work provided useful information.

The SBSTA noted that there are uncertainties in the underlying historical emissions data, particularly regarding land-use change and forestry.

The SBSTA also noted that the results of the work done under the Brazilian Proposal may be relevant to the work of Parties under other bodies and within other processes under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/6, paras. 109-113).

 Earlier sessions


At SBSTA 24 (Bonn, May 2006), the SBSTA noted, inter alia, that the participation of experts from both developed and developing countries in this effort has fostered some capacity-building, and that the process remains open to strengthen participation from scientists from developing countries.  It also noted that further work on this issue would be required, for example, to further quantify and reduce uncertainties, to address gaps in knowledge, and to further improve the methodology, for instance, by considering finer resolution of sources and longer timescales.  The SBSTA encouraged all Parties, research institutions and scientists interested in this issue to undertake further work and to continue to exchange information and experience.

The scientific work was completed by the third quarter of 2007 and pdf-icon written reports (133 kB) about the results of the work on this issue were forwarded to the secretariat from research institutions and scientists engaged in this work through interested Parties.

The SBSTA requested the secretariat to organize an in-session special side event at SBSTA 27 (Bali, December 2007) at which all Parties, research institutions and scientists engaged in this work could present their results. This side event was held on Wednesday, 5 December 2007, from 1.00 to 3.00 p.m. in Bali, Indonesia. The SBSTA invited Parties to submit to the secretariat, by 7 March 2008, their views on these and earlier results. These views are compiled in document FCCC/SBSTA/2008/MISC.2.

 Development of work on the Brazilian Proposal


The delegation of Brazil organized a workshop on the proposal in 1998 and subsequently put forward a revised version of the Proposal.

Based on mandates from the SBSTA, the secretariat organized two meetings on the proposal:

  • first UNFCCC expert meeting (28-30 May 2001 in Bonn, Germany) on the review of the scientific and methodological aspects of the Proposal by Brazil (FCCC/SBSTA/2001/INF.2);
  • second UNFCCC expert meeting(25-27 September 2002 in Bracknell, UK) to assess the preliminary results provided by the participating research institutions, to encourage cooperation between developing and developed country scientists and to identify next steps, including future analysis ((PDF) FCCC/SBSTA/2002/INF.14).

At SBSTA 17 (New Delhi, October/November 2002) the SBSTA agreed, inter alia, that work on the scientific and methodological aspects of the Proposal by Brazil should be continued by the scientific community and that such work should be of a standard consistent with the practices of peer-reviewed published science. It invited the scientific community, including scientific and assessment programmes, such as the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to provide information to Parties, and each other, on their interests in the work. Furthermore, the SBSTA encouraged research institutions and scientists involved to undertake further work on the Proposal by Brazil, to make results publicly available and to report the progress of their work at SBSTA 20.

Supported by the governments of Brazil, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Germany, a third expert meeting on the Brazilian Proposal took place in Berlin/Germany on 8-9 September 2003.

At SBSTA 20 (Bonn, June 2004), the secretariat organized a side event on the progress made since SBSTA 17 on the scientific and methodological aspects of the Brazilian Proposal. During this event, information on some of the findings of the scientific work was presented. 

At SBSTA 23 (Montreal November/December 2005), the secretariat provided an (PDF) oral report on activities on this issue since SBSTA 17. Furtermore, the SBSTA decided to return to the consideration of this item at its 24th session (May 2006).

Decisions and Conclusions

Report of COP 5

Report of COP 4
section III, no. 2

Report of COP 3
section III, no. 3

Report of SBSTA 23
(para 119)

Report of SBSTA 19
(para 53)

Report of SBSTA 18
(para 50 (b)

Report of SBSTA 17
(paras 28-30)

Report of SBSTA 14
para. 32

Report of SBSTA 11
para. 63


Further Information

pdf-icon Information submitted of the work of the Brazilian Proposal (October 2007) (133 kB)

Assessment experiments, expert meetings and information sharing activities

Brazilian Government