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The State of Sao Paulo

The State of Sao Paulo
41.262.199 (IBGE, 2010)
US$51 trillion
The State of Sao Paulo


GHG emissions (year): 88.844 GgCO2 in 2005. For further info on economic and political context, see below. 

São Paulo is the industrial and economic powerhouse of Brazil. The city is the largest in the southern hemisphere with over 40 million inhabitants and despite its small size the state accounts for 33.9% of Brazilian GDP. 

São Paulo also has the third highest Human Development Index, the second lowest infant mortality rate and the fourth lowest rate of illiteracy among the states of Brazil.

The state contains about 40% of Brazilian heavy industry. CETESB, the São Paulo State Environmental Company, serves on permitting pollution sources, monitoring the environment and transferring technology.

The state’s Environmental Policy on Climate Change focuses on sustainable biofuels, forest protection and recovery, financial support to green cities and clean public transport. 

In 2009 the state passed the Climate Change Law, setting a target 20% reduction on CO2 equivalent emissions by 2020. Further commitments were also made to stimulate the use of cleaner transportation by its citizens, and to restructure the Selective Collection of Waste until 2012, among other measures.

The state has acknowledged that there is a need for the creation of benefits for using complementary technologies to the hydroelectric and bioelectric power plants. Solar energy is also known to be a technically feasible solution, creating positive effects in job and income generation as well as new business opportunities and market transformations.

Current Activities

Renewable energy

São Paulo already produces a substantial amount of its electricity from renewable sources. In 2007, the majority came from sugarcane (74%) and hydropower (19%). However, petroleum products account for 37% of total energy consumption, including transport.

The state aims to achieve a per person carbon emissions cap of 3 tons annually, with renewables including biomass and hydropower accounting for 56% of all energy consumption. The state also aims to supply 20% of global ethanol demand.

Clean transport

The state has drawn up an Integrated Plan of Urban Transport. In this context, the SP Expansion Plan was created to improve efficiency and quality service of public transport in the metropolitan areas of São Paulo, Campinas and Santos.

More bicycle parking interconnected with the Metro and urban trains will reduce travel times. The state Secretariat for Transport also targets the withdrawal of 70 billion kilometer-tons of cargo from roads to be transported by ship, saving 850 million liters of fuel per year.

Sustainable land use

São Paulo has 14% of its territory covered by rainforest, with net area increase.

Waste management

In order to expand access to clean water, the Treated Sewage Project of the Environmental Agency of the State of São Paulo (CETESB) protects the water resources from domestic sewage charges. Two other projects - Minimum Waste and Green Municipality - greatly contribute to sanitation improvements and solid waste management in the state of São Paulo.

International collaboration

São Paulo is the Co-Chair (South) of the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (NRG4SD) proposing recognition by the UNFCCC of the role of regions.

Smart cities

São Paulo has three large Metropolitan Areas, with a population of 25 million inhabitants. Making this large area “smarter” is a continuous challenge.

More info

Most important economic sectors

Agriculture; industry; extraction industry; production and distribution of electricity and gas, water and sewer and urban sanitation; construction; services; trade; financial intermediation, insurance and supplementary social security and related services; administration, health care and public education and social security; as well as many other services. 

GHG breakdown by sector (%) (2009 most recent inventory year):

Power 63.5%1
Transport 35.1%2
Buildings n/a
Industry 9.8%
Agriculture/forestry 20%
Waste 6.7%

Current power sector mix (%) (2010):

Coal  2.3%
Gas 7.2%
Nuclear 0%
Wind 0%
Solar 0%
Biomass 35.7%
Marine 0%
Renewables 54.5%
1. This emission refers to energy sector. 2. This is a sub-sector of energy sector


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