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Petrobras makes its first carbon credit purchase

Company acquires carbon credits generated from the preservation of 570 hectares of the Amazon rainforest

Published in 05/09/2023 at 08:25:22

Amazon Rainforest

Photo: Anderson Coelho E+ pela Getty Images


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Petrobras marked its entry into the voluntary carbon market by acquiring credits equivalent to 175,000 tons of avoided greenhouse gases (GHGs). This operation corresponds to the preservation of an area totaling 570 hectares of the Amazon rainforest, the size of approximately 800 soccer fields like Maracanã.

The credits were acquired from Envira Amazônia, a project based in the city of Feijó, State of Acre, dedicated to the preservation of the Amazon rainforest and actions in favor of the communities living in the region.  Petrobras’ 2023-27 Strategic Plan provides for other operations in the carbon market, with total planned investments in terms of credit acquisitions reaching up to USD 120 million by 2027.

With the purchase of carbon credits, Petrobras’ goal is to complement its decarbonization strategy, which includes several fronts, such as reducing emissions in its operations, renewable energy projects, biorefining and carbon capture and storage (CCS). The guidelines for the next Strategic Plan (2024-2028), currently under development, indicate the search for profitable opportunities to expand low carbon-related investments, reaching from 6 to 15% of the company’s global investments.

 “Here at Petrobras, we wish to contribute to Brazil’s energy transition process in a more effective way. With each advance towards the use of clean energy sources, with carbon capture and storage, and with investments in decarbonization, we’re creating a future in which the economy can thrive and prosper in harmony with the planet”, said Petrobras president Jean Paul Prates. “We believe that the carbon market is an important instrument in the fight against climate change, and we know that Brazil has a huge potential to take a leading role in this segment, especially because it is one of the countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world”, he added.

Our priority will consist of acquiring high-quality natural-based credits generated in Brazil, which can contribute to the preservation and recovery of Brazilian biomes. We want to ensure that the credits used generate climate, social and environmental benefits for the country, in a transparent and traceable way”, said Energy Transition and Sustainability director Maurício Tolmasquim.

“Offsetting emissions with carbon credits is complementary to this decarbonization and allows companies to increase their aspirations.  It’s important to mention that this initiative by Petrobras does not replace, but rather complements our efforts in reducing our emissions while contributing to finance the conservation of Brazilian forests”, stated Petrobras Climate Change executive manager Viviana Coelho.

Carbon market

The carbon market consists of a mechanism for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions by negotiating carbon credits.  These credits are generated by projects that prevent these gases from being emitted or that remove these gases from the atmosphere. Thus, carbon credits are used as a kind of currency, which companies can purchase in order to offset their own operational emissions or emission generated by their products. Well-established markets can accelerate the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions and reduce costs for society, since they can identify the best opportunity costs.

Furthermore, the carbon market is one of the instruments to be used in order to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 by nearly 200 countries (including Brazil) that pledged to implement actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon credits may be generated in many different ways, such as from capturing methane in landfills or from nature-based projects, known as Nature-Based Solutions.  They stand out thanks to their contributions to the recovery and preservation of natural ecosystems, their environmental co-benefits, such as the preservation of biodiversity and water resources, and the positive impact they can have on local communities.

International certification of carbon credits

The carbon credits purchased by Petrobras are high-integrity carbon credits with social and economic benefits, certified by means of a rigorous global protocol, guaranteeing transparency, reliability and traceability in disclosing the origin and use of these credits.

Credit certification follows Verra’s VCS (Verified Carbon Standard), which is the largest certifying body in the voluntary carbon market in the world. This company is responsible for validating the amount of fixed or avoided carbon and for periodically monitoring the evolution of projects, in addition to registering the carbon credits issued on its electronic platform so that they can be traced.

Click to watch President Jean Paul Prates' video about the initiative.

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