Brazil joins IEA as an Association country, reshaping international energy governance


Minister Coelho, right, and Minister Ferreira, center, with Dr Birol in Brazilia as Brazil joins the IEA as an Association country (Photo: IEA)

BRASILIA – The International Energy Agency and Brazil jointly announced today that the country joined the IEA as an Association country, opening new avenues for cooperation towards a more secure and sustainable energy future with Latin America’s largest country.

The announcement was made in Brasilia by Fernando Coelho Filho, Minister of Mines and Energy; Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, Foreign Minister;  and Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director. Dr. Birol and Minister Coelho also signed a detailed three-year work programme highlighting a range of issues of mutual interest and cooperation.

“With today’s announcement of IEA Association, we are taking another important step to place Brazil at the centre of global debate on key energy policy issues including renewable energy, energy efficiency, rational use of fossil fuels, energy security and sustainable development,” said Minister Coelho.

Brazil’s leading expertise in bioenergy, hydro and other forms of clean and conventional energy is recognized around the world, and provides an excellent basis to develop solutions for global energy challenges. The country’s experience in managing renewable resources in its energy mix can contribute greatly to IEA discussions on a broadened concept of energy security. Brazil has also pioneered the use of auctions for long-term contracts for renewable energy, a model that is now successfully applied as best-practice world-wide. 

Brazil and the IEA plan to work jointly across a wide range of energy-related activities. These include implemention of The Biofuture Platform, which aims to promote international coordination on advanced low carbon fuels. The IEA will also support the development of Brazil’s ten-year energy efficiency plan and co-host an energy efficiency training event in Brazil to share regional and global experiences.

“Brazil’s experience shows that policies do matter,” said Dr Birol. “Its determined and ambitious long-term energy policies, developing deep-water oil resources and expanding biofuels output, set an example to countries around the world. As a result, our latest data shows that Brazil will become a net oil exporter this year, the first major consumer in recent history to ever achieve such a turnaround.”

Dr Birol also congratulated Brazil for its recent successful deepwater bid round. After depending on oil imports since IEA records began in the 1970s, the IEA now finds that Brazil will become a net exporter this year, and exporting nearly one million barrels of oil per day to world markets by 2022. This is the result of a 50% increase in oil production in the past decade thanks to a successful push into deep-water production, and a biofuels programme that has helped keep domestic oil-demand growth under control.

With Brazil, the IEA family now accounts for over 70% of the world’s total energy consumption, compared with less than 40% just two years ago. The seven IEA Association countries are Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Singapore and Thailand.

Association countries can work hand-in-hand with the IEA on critical issues, including energy security, data and statistics, and energy policy solutions. This institutional partnership also enables countries to participate across the range of IEA work, including its committees and training and capacity-building activities.

The comprehensive three-year work programme signed by Dr Birol and Minister Coelho also includes sharing best-practices on grid integration, gas market design, and close co-operation on clean-energy initiatives, including through the G20 and the Clean Energy Ministerial.

The agreement will allow the IEA to benefit from Brazil’s unique experience, which has enabled it to develop one of the cleanest energy mixes in the world. Thanks to its expertise in global energy market and policy analysis, the IEA can support Brazil’s efforts and collaborate in its energy transition.

(Read Minister Coelho's remarks and Dr Birol's remarks in Brasilia.)