“What types of climate change

mitigation and adaptation
policies are being considered
or implemented in Rio de
Janeiro?”


Development Project Case Study
Author: Charles Laffiteau
Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
• Brazil is the host nation and Rio de Janeiro is the
host city for both the 2014 World Cup and the
2016 Summer Olympics.
• So based on the experience of China and Beijing
with the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Brazilian
national government and the state government of
Rio de Janeiro are also investing large sums in the
sports infrastructure required of host nations.
Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
• Both governments will also have to make large
expenditures on improving urban transportation
and reducing air pollutants in order to mitigate
the adverse impacts of urban pollution on the
health and well being of athletes and spectators.
• But with the world watching, Rio de Janeiro will
also have to beef up its disaster preparedness
planning in order to avoid the negative fallout
resulting from any catastrophic weather event.
Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
January 2011- 903 fatalities

Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
Young and Nobre observe that ;
• Extreme events such as intense rainfalls are a
growing problem in many areas in the world,
including the city of Rio de Janeiro.
• But Rio‟s risk situations are also a consequence
of a social process related to structural urban
issues that are linked to political decisions.
• Problems such as sea level rise and flooding are
expected to become even worse in the coming
decades due to the effects of climate change.
Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
April 2010- 292 fatalities

Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
Sherbinin, Schiller and Pulsipher write that:
• “Although favelas have always suffered during
rainy seasons, the paving of walkways has had the
effect of increasing runoff to the point where
water is often ankle or knee deep between houses”
• “Runoff from communities on steep hillsides are
channeled down cemented watercourses to the
coastal lowlands where they join canals whose
limited flow capacity causes frequent flooding.”
Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
• So what types of climate change mitigation and
adaptation policies are being considered or
implemented in Rio de Janeiro?
• On February 29, 2012, Rio de Janeiro‟s Mayor,
Eduardo Paes, addressed this issue at the 2012
TED conference in Long Beach CA.
• As hosts of the 2016 Olympic Games, Paes says
that “we have (also) become responsible for
using the Games to improve our peoples‟ lives.”

Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
• Paes emphasized “how challenging it was for Rio
to be chosen the host city of the 2016 Olympic
Games, as we had to defeat Madrid, Tokyo and
Chicago, the latter supported by Barack Obama.”
• But Paes then goes on to say that by “following
four commandments and adopting innovative
strategies, Rio de Janeiro can be transformed into a
more sustainable and socially integrated city.”


Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
Paes‟ 4 commandments for cities of the future are:
• 1) It has to be environmentally friendly,
• 2) It has to deal with mobility and integration of
its people,
• 3) It has to be socially integrated,
• 4) It has to use technology to be present.

Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
Paes cites Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as one example

Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
• BRT‟s four exclusive lanes for articulated buses
that can carry up to 160 passengers are currently
being built by the Rio de Janeiro City Hall.
• Users will board on acclimatized stations, where
they will buy their tickets and connect with the
train and underground systems.
• BRT will allow Rio de Janeiro to increase percent
of citizens who use high capacity public transport
from the current 18% to 63% in 2015.
Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
• As an example of how to use technology Paes
describes the Rio Operations Centre as “a nerve
centre where we monitor all logistics of the city,
from waste management and traffic control to
weather and climate-related incidents. Using
IBM technology, a 250-km-radius radar and 560
cameras, the Operations Centre allows us to be
present when and where we are needed.”
Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
• Rio de Janeiro is also the home of the world‟s
largest garbage dump, Jardim-Gramacho.

Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
• Brazil is also one of the world leaders in recycling.
• 2
nd
to Japan in recycling plastic bottles
• 4
th
in recycling plastic solids
• 3
rd
in recycling steel cans
• 5
th
in recycling glass bottles
• Leads world by recycling 96.5% of aluminum cans
• But instead of house collection, most is done by
poor favela residents picking through rubbish piles

Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
• Paes also says that the “favelas of Rio de Janeiro are
usually seen as a problem. For me, however, they can
actually be a solution.”
• Light (the Rio de Janeiro power utility), is working
with NGOs on a program to establish and upgrade
power networks, install transformers & meters, to
provide favela residents safe, cost-effective power.
• This also documents proof of residence for „favelos‟,
necessary for getting a phone and establishing credit.

Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
• But Light goes a step further by encouraging
recycling within the company‟s concession area
with a program that gives favela residents money
off their electricity bills in exchange for paper,
plastic, aluminum, steel and glass bottles.
• This Program for Normalization of Informal
Areas was made possible by a $200 million loan
guaranteed by the World Bank's Multilateral
Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
World Bank is also financing the Upgrading and
Greening of the Rio de Janeiro Urban Rail System

Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
• A US$600 million loan from the World Bank will
create a better quality of life in Rio and a reduction
of 93,700 tons of greenhouse gas emissions,
equivalent to over 25,000 gasoline passenger cars.
• But it will also finance the development of a
sustainable transport strategy for the state of Rio
de Janeiro, including reducing the overall carbon
footprint of the system, and the establishment of a
climate change natural disaster monitoring centre.
Climate Change: Rio de Janeiro
• One can thus conclude that Rio de Janeiro has taken a
number of steps designed to mitigate climate change
by both reducing GHG emissions and preparing for
climate change related weather event natural disasters.
• But as Christoplos, Mitchell & Liljelund note “The
political costs of redirecting priorities from visible
development projects to addressing abstract long-term
threats are great. It is hard to gain votes by pointing
out that a disaster did not happen.”