Brazil is offering a lifeline to its coal industry even as the world’s scientists make it crystal clear that fossil fuel use must stop to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry on Monday published details of a new program that would support the coal sector through 2050 in the country’s southern states, where mines are major employers and thermal power plants provide substantial generation capacity.
The Program for the Sustainable Use of National Mineral Coal aims to draw about 20 billion reais ($3.9 billion) in investment over the next 10 years, according to the proposal published on the ministry’s website. It calls for modernizing coal power plants to make them more efficient, and allowing electricity from such generators to be sold through 2050, when the country plans to reach complete decarbonization of its power sector. It also includes special tax regimes for coal and directing public research resources to the sector.