Environment Committee Approves Green GDP Bill

The Senate Environment Committee has approved Bill No. 38/2015, which would require the federal government to calculate the country’s Green GDP—an index of economic growth that incorporates "the national ecological heritage" into the country’s conventional GDP. The Bill proposes that the Green GDP integrate the United Nations Inclusive Wealth Index, a metric used to evaluate a nation’s capacity to provide for the welfare of their citizens in a sustainable manner.

Styrofoam Disposal Ban Proposed

Bill No. 3346-2015, recently proposed in the Chamber of Deputies, would modify the National Solid Waste Law (No. 12305/2010) by prohibiting the final disposal of products made from polystyrene foam (i.e., Styrofoam). The Bill does not clarify whether it would apply to packaging materials, and could be read as effectively banning all uses of Styrofoam within its scope.

Incentives for Energy Efficient Domestic Appliances Proposed

Bill No. 3091/2015 has been proposed in the Chamber of Deputies to amend Law No. 9.991/2000 to offer subsidies and incentives to encourage the use of energy efficient domestic appliances and equipment that uses renewable energy sources, such as solar water heaters, lamps, and refrigerators.

Minamata Convention Ratification Process Underway

The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Mercury held a meeting in Brazil to discuss funding mechanisms for developing countries to implement the Minamata Convention on Mercury. At the meeting, it was announced that Brazil’s Chemistry Parliamentary Front is working to put the Convention’s ratification on the legislative agenda, which is expected to occur in the near future.

Brazil Obtains Funds for 2nd Stage of HCFC Program

Brazil will receive $134 million Brazilian Rael ($35 million) from the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol to implement the second stage of its Hydrochlorofluorocarbon ("HCFC") Elimination Program. After eliminating 16.6% of HCFCs in the first stage of the Program, Brazil now aims to achieve a 35% reduction of the substances by 2020.

ABNT Publishes Revised Environmental Management Systems Standard

The Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (“ABNT”) has published ABNT NBR 14001: 2015, which establishes criteria for effective environmental management systems.

Nanotechnology Labeling Bill Proposed

Bill No. 1456/2015 has been proposed in São Paulo’s State Legislative Assembly to require labeling of all "nanotechnology products" and "products that make use of nanotechnology." The Bill is largely identical to a bill (No. 5133/2013) currently pending in the National Chamber of Deputies and under active review by the Economic Development, Industry and Commerce Committee in recent months.

Climate Protocol of São Paulo State Presented  

São Paulo’s Secretariat of Environment ("SMA") presented the Climate Protocol of São Paulo State, a voluntary initiative to encourage companies to reduce their GHG emissions, improve water and energy efficiency, and implement social and environmental responsibility practices by offering points to companies that report environmental information. Companies could use high scores in advertising campaigns to differentiate themselves from competitors.