Fiscal Justice for Women in Brazil

We introduce the advocacy initiative on tax justice, gender and race in Brazil, a collaboration between Inesc, the Tax Justice Network, Red de Justícia Fiscal de América Latina y El Caribe and Latinidadd.

This action consisted of delivering a shadow report and active participation in the 88th Session of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), to be held in May 2024. 

In the submitted document, we explore how austerity measures and regressive tax policies directly affect women’s rights in Brazil, especially black women. In addition, we situate the country within the context of global tax policy and the current negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on International Tax Cooperation.

Subsidies for fossil and renewable energy (2018-2022): reforming for a fair energy transition

The Institute of Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc) has been monitoring federal subsidies to fossil fuel since 2018, with the aim of promoting public debate on government support for the expansion of production and consumption of oil, natural gas, and mineral coal in Brazil.

In this publication, Inesc innovates by presenting, for the first time, subsidies to renewable sources with the aim of underscoring the importance of creating a policy of incentives for renewable sources based on principles of transparency, with governance and safeguards policies that put us on track towards an energy transition with social justice.

Access our interactive dashboard with data

As soy moves forward: impacts of Hidrovias do Brasil in Itaituba, Pará

This Dossier is a document published by Inesc, based on complaints filed by residents of the region, and it reveals that Hidrovias do Brasil does not comply with the measures to mitigate the negative impacts of its operations in the Itaituba region. Hidrovias has IFC – the investment arm of the World Bank in the private sector – among its main investors.

Good practices and lessons learned on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the humanitarian response to the Venezuela/Brazil migration flow

This report is the result of a process of evaluating the humanitarian response to the Venezuelan migration, mainly on the border between Brazil and Venezuela, regarding gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. This process was built in partnership between the Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos, Institute of Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc) and the Núcleo de Mulheres de Roraima, Women’s Center of Roraima (NUMUR), in a project supported by UN Women.

Illustrated Guide to Inflation, Monetary Policy and Human Rights

What is Monetary Policy and what does it have to do with human rights? What is the role of the Central Bank in our lives? Are there no better solutions for controlling inflation than raising interest rates? The answers to these and other questions, about the impact of economic measures on the lives of Brazilians, can be found in the pages of the “Illustrated Guide to Inflation, Monetary Policy and Human Rights”.

This didactic booklet, aimed at the general public, was written by Inesc’s policy advisor Livi Gerbase and by economist Pedro Rossi, a professor at Unicamp’s Institute of Economics. The material also features illustrations by the collective A Gazetinha.

Fossil Fuels Subsidies in Brazil: know, assess and reform (5th edition)

The gradual departure from fossil fuel use toward energy transition is key for facing the climate crisis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC’s sixth report has highlighted how pressing it is to move toward ambitious emission cuts in the short term in order to have a chance to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 °C by the end of the 21st century: the world needs to reduce by 43% its emissions from coal, oil and natural gas burning by 2030, compared to 2019. However, moving in the opposite direction to this urgent matter, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD and the International Energy Agency – IEA, incentives to fossil fuels around the world almost doubles in 2021, reaching 697.2 billion dollars, a 92.4% increase compared to 2020.

In this context, we release the fifth edition of the study “Subsidies to fossil fuels: know, assess and reform”, with data for the year 2021. Despite having a relatively clean energy and electricity matrix, Brazil has a strong structure of subsidies to fossil fuels, which encourages both production and consumption of oil, natural gas and mineral coal in the country.

Access to Medicines Thematic Budget (OTMED 2021)

The OTMED analyzes pharmaceutical assistance expenses incurred by the federal government. In 2021, this expenditure grew 33% when compared to the previous year. This increase is probably the purchase of Covid-19
vaccines. Despite the worsening of the pandemic, when we analyze the total health budget, whether considering the health function or the budget of the Ministry of Health, we see that the volume of resources invested in 2021 was similar to that of 2020.

Brazil’s Energy Matrix and the Paris Agreement

In 2016, Brazil submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to the Paris Agreement. The NDCs state the targets for reduction of gas emissions responsible for intensifying the greenhouse effect. The targets are compulsory and must progress at each NDC submitted.

This study analyzes the NDCs drafted by the Brazilian government with regards to the energy sector, which counts on sectoral planning, plans, policy instruments and regulation, including transparency mechanisms.

The goal is to present society with a clear view of Brazil’s efforts and its level of compliance with the Paris Agreement targets. The report produced is part of the “Tracing the link between Climate Justice Action & the NDCs” – CIDSE Energy-NDC Task Force, Climate and Energy project 2021-2022” initiative, conducted by Fastenaktion, in partnership with the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies – INESC, which assesses the Brazilian case.

Anti-Indigenous Foundation: A Portrait of FUNAI Under the Bolsonaro Administration

In the face of the shocking disappearance of a former Funai employee and a British journalist in the Amazon ten days ago, a report released by INESC and the association that represents FUNAI’s civil servants and indigenists (INA) lists illegalities in the policy of (non-) demarcation of indigenous territories, cutting resources, militarization and oppression within the agency.

The state of the art of monetary policy in Brazil

The purpose of this report is to present and discuss the state of the art in the debate on monetary policy in Brazil. However, from a practical and methodological point of view, monetary policy is inserted in a broader context: since 1999, an economic policy regime called the “macroeconomic tripod” has been in force in Brazil, which consists of the simultaneous adoption of three policies: the primary surplus target regime (fiscal policy); the floating exchange rate regime (exchange policy); and the inflation targeting regime (monetary policy). Thus, the discussion of monetary policy should not be seen separately from other economic policies, as the full understanding of the role and limits of monetary policy requires the contribution of the entire macroeconomic regime in which it is inserted.

The report highlights the need to adopt a new monetary policy in Brazil. Monetary policy should not have as its sole objective the fight against inflation, just as the fight against inflation should not depend only on monetary policy. Controlling the inflationary process must never be neglected, especially when it directly affects the income of the working class and groups in economic and social vulnerability. An inflationary policy, however, must not rely solely on monetary policy as the only instrument. Finally, monetary policy should be oriented towards creating jobs, generating and distributing income, and guaranteeing rights.

The report is divided into four sections in addition to the introduction and final considerations. Section 2 discusses what the “macroeconomic tripod” is, focusing on theoretical aspects and the Brazilian macroeconomic model. Section 3 discusses alternative macroeconomic views and criticisms of the “macroeconomic tripod”, focusing on three views: new developmentalism, social developmentalism, and functional finance. Section 4 discusses the history of monetary policy from 1999 to the present day. Finally, section 5 analyzes some current debates on Brazilian monetary policy.

How much does it cost to make a PGTA happen?

Indigenous Management Plans are a tool derived from the social mobilization of Brazilian indigenous communities, organizations and their partners. Elaborated in collective and unique processes by each of the peoples, the PGTA have also become the main instrument for implementing the National Policy for Territorial and Environmental Management of Indigenous Lands (PNGATI), established in 2012 by the Decree no. 7,747/2012.

Despite the recognized power of this instrument – whose positive impacts far exceed the limits of indigenous communities, being key in the fight against climate change – the PGTA and PNGATI have suffered from severe and successive lack of public funding. The combination of austerity policies, such as Constitutional Amendment EC955, with the anti-indigenous and anti-environmentalist shift taken by the executive branch, have ended the meager public funding for carrying out the PNGATI, excluding any mention of PGTA at the current multi-year government plan.

To face this situation and reinforce territorially-based solutions to tackle climate change, Inesc launches the “PGTA cost estimation methodology”, which aims to facilitate the fundraising by indigenous communities for the PGTA, as well as encourage the struggle for public resources to guarantee the fulfillment of the Brazilian State’s constitutional duties towards indigenous peoples. We also launch the document “ Funding possibilities for Territorial and Environmental Management Plans for Indigenous Lands (PGTA)”, with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of global and national commitment to the territorial management of indigenous lands.

Fossil fuels subsidies in Brasil (2020): know, assess and reform

Brazil has established itself among the ten major producers of fossil fuels in the world, and its relevance in the petroleum geopolitics is undeniable, just as, directly and indirectly, in the global emissions by fossil sources.

In a direct way, due to the fact that emissions by burning fossil fuels represent 19% of emissions in the country. In an indirect fashion, because the fossil fuels distributed by Brazil to the world via exportations constitute energy sources for the most diverse sectors and are a part of global emissions. The scenario has already been mapped by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report, which should “sound like a death sentence to fossil fuels before they destroy the planet”.

Incentives and subsidies given for fossil fuels are intrinsically linked to countries, industries, and investors’ global resistance to restrict the growth of production and emissions, which has delayed the unavoidable energetic transition.

Following up on the monitoring of incentives and subsidies given to fossil fuels in Brazil, the Institute of Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc) launched the fourth edition of the study “Know, Assess and Reform”. In 2020, $24.05 billions were given in incentives and subsidies to fossil fuels, which represents 2% of the country’s GDP for the year. These figures are divided into categories (direct expenditures, indirect expenditures, and other waivers) and by modalities (consumption and production). Brazil has established itself among the ten major producers of fossil fuels in the world, and its relevance in the petroleum geopolitics is undeniable, just as, directly and indirectly, in the global emissions by fossil sources.

Access to Medicines Thematic Budget 2020

Since 2015, the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc) has prepared the  Access to Medicines Thematic Budget (OTMED), whose objective is to analyze the allocation of federal resources in promoting access to medicines in Brazil.

This edition shows a small reduction in federal government spending on drug purchases in a scenario of a coronavirus pandemic. According to the study, in 2019, spending on pharmaceutical assistance amounted to 14.6% of the total. In 2020, this percentage dropped to 11.5%.  Access the infographic, which also shows the failures committed by the federal government in confronting Covid-19.

Training Course in Innovation and Access to Medicines for Health Counselors

We have systematized the experience of the Training Course in Innovation and Access to Medicines for Health Counselors in this report with the objective of collaborating in the construction of possibilities for carrying out training processes in virtual environments. Thus, we share here not only an activity report but the entire process, from planning to completion.

Held by the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc), the course was partnered with the National Health Council (CNS) and the Popular Education and Assistance Center (CEAP). The course lasted three months and was held from December 2020 to February 2021, in a totally virtual format. But planning and completion activities extended beyond that, starting in June 2020 and ending in March 2021.

Access to Medicines – Thematic Budget 2019

Since 2015, the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc) has prepared the Thematic Budget for Access to Medicines (OTMED), whose objective is to analyze the allocation of federal resources to promote access to medicines in Brazil. This latest edition of the series of publications shows that, in 2019, federal spending on medicines was R$ 19.8 billion. The growth of almost 10% compared to 2018 follows an increasing trend compared to previous years and more than doubled when compared to 2008, the year the series started.

Thematic budget for science, technology and innovation in medicines (OTMED – ST&I)

This technical note brings the first version of the Thematic Budget for Science, Technology and Innovation in Medicines (OTMED ST&I), which aims to investigate federal government spending in this area. This is a new methodology, which is yet to mature, but which aims to contribute data on this strategic public spending – especially in the context of Covid-19 – and essential to guarantee the right to health and access to medicines.

Ferrogrão, the Brazilian Grain Railway

The EF-170 or Ferrogrão is a “greenfield” railway project connecting the 933km that separate the towns of Sinop (Mato Grosso state) and Itaituba (Pará state).

Investments of International Financial Institutions in Brazil in 2020

Since the beginning of this pandemic, several International Financial Institutions (IFIs) have committed to contribute to the global fight against COVID-19. According to statements from the IFIs themselves, investments in the year 2020 were supposed to direct aid and other support to those most vulnerable and impacted by the pandemic.

However, the study “Investments of International Financial Institutions in Brazil in 2020: Was there support to combat the COVID-19 pandemic?” shows that the projects of these institutions, for the most part, did not include direct transfer of income to people that are facing hunger, the buying of medicines, or the support for hospitals and ICUs.

Electricity and energy expansion: advances, risks and limitations of the proposed trajectories

Taking the Ten Year Expansion Plan for Energy (PDE 2030) and the National Energy Plan (PNE 2050) as a basis, the advances, risks and limitations of the proposed trajectories for electric and energy expansion are addressed.

The text highlights the government’s lack of articulation to implement long-term plans for the improvement of the national matrix, as well as the efforts in the legislative scope to attack the environmental licensing rules in force, which is fundamental to guarantee the protection of territorial rights in areas of exploration of renewable, non-fossil sources. 

This policy brief also refers the compensation of the shrinking use of oil in the energy matrix by natural gas, and of sugar cane by wind and solar energy, soybeans biodiesel, and lye. A very sensitive point identified is the introduction of soy as a raw material for the manufacture of biofuels, which lights up a warning from the socio-environmental and climatic point of view.

Logistics infrastructure, agribusiness and climate

Environmental degradation and attack of the ways of life of native peoples, traditional and peasant communities are consequences of this model of economic exploitation. This scenario contributes to the consolidation of Pará as the subnational unit with the highest level of greenhouse gas emissions derived from changes in land use and the allocation of areas for cattle ranching and agriculture in the country.

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