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Xavier M.V.E.,Fundacao Estadual do Meio Ambiente FEAM | Bassi A.M.,Lana | Bassi A.M.,Stellenbosch University | de Souza C.M.,Fundacao Estadual do Meio Ambiente FEAM | And 3 more authors.
Energy, Sustainability and Society | Year: 2013

Background: Developing medium-to long-term energy scenarios is a key to achieve goals of energy security and greenhouse gas emission reduction through the implementation of effective public policies. Methods: Despite the availability of many tools and methods that focus on energy planning from an engineering perspective, only a few approaches have the methodological capabilities to build energy scenarios and quantify their impacts across social and environment indicators in a dynamic and flexible way. To fill this gap, we have created a System Dynamics model customized for the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil to simulate possible trajectories of energy demand and supply. Results: Two scenarios were developed: a business-as-usual case (BAU), with no major changes in the energy profile of the state; the other is an alternative scenario, where the reduction of carbon intensity (RIC) is a key goal. To summarize the results, the scenario RIC has lower greenhouse gas emissions and greater energy generation and employment, but has a total cumulative cost higher than BAU as the final indicators estimated. Conclusions: We can see important opportunities to contribute to global climate change mitigation while fostering a low-carbon energy sector and a green economy in the state. By investing in the renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, technological improvements, and the targets analyzed in this study, Minas Gerais State could reduce political and financial risks originating from the reliance on fossil fuels while generating more income in the energy sector and the state economy as a whole and reducing medium-and longer-term costs. © 2013 Xavier et al.

Nunes F.,Fundacao Estadual do Meio Ambiente FEAM | Rajao R.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Soares-Filho B.,Federal University of Minas Gerais
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2016

Despite challenges to the authority and legitimacy of science as a neutral representation of the world, expert advisors are playing an increasingly central role in environmental policy-making in both the Global North and South. This article explores the science-policy interface, based on the experience of the main author as a scientist and policy-maker at FEAM, a state-level environmental agency in Brazil. Contributing to the literature on boundary objects and organizations, the article details the practices necessary to manage the relationship between political and scientific norms in the development of the regional Climate and Energy Plan (CEP) for the state of Minas Gerais. To sustain the role of FEAM as a boundary organization mediating between political and scientific demands, a team of scientists and policy-makers had to perform different types of boundary work in a closely connected manner. It was necessary to actively frame climate change as an economic problem, and structure its solution in terms of mitigation mechanisms. Responding to changes in the national and international political context, FEAM reframed climate change from mitigation into largely an adaptation issue that could lead to win-win solutions as to attain saliency and avoid insurmountable political obstacles for its approval. Based on this experience, the article argues that the performance of boundary objects and organizations in the science-policy interface not only requires an ability to bring 'truth to power' but to also the capacity to sense, anticipate and avoid political obstacles. For this reason even though boundary organizations provide a breeding ground for institutional learning it is an unsuitable location for scientific or political revolutions. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

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