Brazilian Bioeconomy Has the Potential to Generate US$ 592.6 B per Year

“Bioeconomy must be seen as the driver of a productive and economic development model…”

Juliana Lopes is the director of nature and society at the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development – ​​CEBDS.

Lopes has a degree in journalism from Universidade Metodista de São Paulo, an MBA in marketing from Anhembi Morumbi, and a M.Sc. in sustainability from Fundação Educacional Inaciana Padre Sabóia de Medeiros.


Juliana Lopes, director of nature and society at ​​CEBDS

AgriBrasilis – What is the meaning and importance of “bioeconomy”?

Juliana Lopes – Bioeconomy must be seen as the driver of a productive and economic development model, which should be fair, ethical and inclusive, generating products, processes and services based on sustainable use, regeneration and the conservation of biological resources, with the guiding principle being the sustainable use of biodiversity.

It is a concrete alternative for transforming the economy and a path to climate, nature and economic-social development solutions, especially for countries rich in natural resources, such as Brazil. According to the Brazilian Bioinnovation Association (ABBI), the implementation of new technologies linked to the bioeconomy has the potential to inject US$ 592.6 billion per year into Brazil.

AgriBrasilis – What is Brazil’s role in the “green transition”, or ecological transition? Is the corporate sector engaged in this transition?

Juliana Lopes – Brazil can lead the transition globally to a carbon-neutral, equitable and nature-positive economy, as we have comparative advantages. The challenge is how to transform those into competitive advantages.

An important step was taken with the Federal Government’s Ecological Transformation Plan, which signals internally and also to the world that our economic trajectory is heading in the direction of this new development model. And the corporate sector has been actively working to ensure that Brazil exercises this leadership role, having even contributed with recommendations for each of the six axes of the Ecological Transformation Plan, even before its official launch.

AgriBrasilis – Are profits and sustainability compatible? How?

Juliana Lopes – Sustainability needs to be understood as a business model. Examples of how climate change is bringing enormous losses are no longer rare, not only for the population in general, but also for companies. This year, the floods in the State of Rio Grande do Sul have shown this very clearly. Not incorporating a concern for nature and not investing in actions that minimize the impact of economic activities on the environment will mean increasing losses.

Sustainable development is not a cost, but an investment, and it represents profits. The returns will happen from medium term to long term, but the benefits in reputation and competitiveness are notable. For instance, a World Bank report, released in 2023, pointed out, for example, that the preservation of the Amazon is worth at least US$ 317 billion per year – the equivalent of R$ 1.5 trillion.

AgriBrasilis – Why can the National Bioeconomy Policy bring “more legal certainty” to the corporate sector in Brazil?

Juliana Lopes – Establishing this framework, with goals and instruments to ensure financial flows to strengthen the bioeconomy, is key to increasing Brazilian competitiveness, with environmental sustainability and equity. Furthermore, this policy is able to offer legal certainty to guide public and private investments for the bioeconomy.

CEBDS is the leader of a consortium formed by TNC, Instituto Arapyaú and Coalizão Brasil Clima, Florestas e Agricultura, which technically supports the Bioeconomy Secretariat of the Ministry of the Environment in the elaboration of the National Bioeconomy Strategy, as well as in the development of the Bioeconomy Plan and the Sociobioeconomy Plan.

On 06/05/2024, the President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, signed the Decree that established the National Bioeconomy Strategy, which has the objectives of promoting national, regional and local development based on the use of biological, environmental and social resources, that should also be economically sustainable, in order to contribute to the water, food and energy security of the population.

As a guideline for this Strategy, we highlight the encouragement of regenerative agriculture, productive restoration, recovery of native vegetation, sustainable forest management and production, and especially of healthy food systems.

The implementation of this Strategy will take place through the Bioeconomy Development Plan, which will be developed within the scope of the National Bioeconomy Commission, which is yet to be established.

The establishment of a National Bioeconomy Policy is the subject of Complementary Bill No. 150/2022, which CEBDS is also following closely.

AgriBrasilis – CEBDS is a non-profit civil association that promotes sustainable development. What plans and investments are underway? What sectors are represented by the Council?

Juliana Lopes – CEBDS has representatives from the most diverse sectors of the economy, such as finance, agribusiness, cosmetics, mining, energy and much more. One of our main initiatives at the moment is the “Trajectory to COP 30”, in partnership with the WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) and the We Mean Business Coalition. The idea is to mobilize companies in Brazil and worldwide to collaborate and directly drive the transition to the “green economy”, thinking about leaving a great legacy.

Another initiative involves a partnership with the Igarapé Institute and JGP to unlock financial flows for sustainable initiatives that leave a concrete legacy for the Brazilian corporate sector in the Amazon until COP30. Furthermore, CEBDS has engaged in advocacy strategies and collaborated in the joint development of subsidies to support public policies related to the sustainable development agenda.

AgriBrasilis – CEBDS participated in the production of the Global Bioeconomy Report. What is the market potential for the bioeconomy in Brazil? What other points in the report are worth highlighting?

Juliana Lopes – The report was launched by a group of more than 19 institutions (including CEBDS) that are part of the GIB Support Group (G20 Initiative on Bioeconomy), an initiative coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the aim of bringing the topic of bioeconomy for the G20 debate.

The objective of the study was to point out the state of the art of bioeconomy in the world to support Brazil in a common understanding and definition of high-level principles on the topic. This review also analyzes the challenges and opportunities that could be the focus of a work program of the G20 Bioeconomy Initiative.

The bioeconomy has enormous potential in Brazil, due to the great wealth of biodiversity we have. This could account, by 2030, for more than 2.7% of Gross Domestic Product – GDP (according to OECD, 2019). In the Amazon region alone, according to a study performed by WRI Brasil from 2023 – Forecasts for 2050, the increase in GDP could reach US$ 7.27 billion, creating 312 thousand additional jobs, in addition to preserving 81 million hectares.

AgriBrasilis – You said that regulating the carbon market is one of the Council’s priorities. Why?

Juliana Lopes – The regulation of the national carbon market has been a CEBDS banner since 2016. The Brazilian corporate sector takes a strong stance on the issue: the sectors that will be regulated are asking to be regulated.

Regulating this market can generate commercial gains for Brazil in an environment in which climate policies increasingly impact international trade, generate gains in international negotiations and accentuate the leading role that we can have in the transition agenda.

Furthermore, the regulation of the carbon market, accompanied by the creation of a “green taxonomy” are key elements to mobilize resources at scale, filling the current investment gap for the ecological transition of all economic sectors in Brazil, with the bioeconomy as a driving force behind this new model of sustainable development.



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