Brazil is a country of continental dimensions and the world’s 8th largest economy. However, it has just been through a recession which has increased inequalities. Its challenge lies in returning to growth, which reconciles social progress, environmental protection and the fight against climate change. AFD is assisting it in boosting its transition towards greener and more equitable growth.
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Stairs, worker, Brazil
Stairs, worker, Brazil

Developing low-carbon urban mobility

BRT line in Curitiba, Brazil

Developing low-carbon urban mobility

Brazil is one of the most urbanized countries in the world and its cities are faced with increasing transport congestion and pollution. The number of inhabitants is constantly rising, which comes with an increase in the need for mobility. Brazil’s challenge lies in developing public transport provision that is reliable, accessible to all and environmentally friendly, as part of an integrated urban development approach. 

AFD assists local authorities in this approach and works for “soft” mobility. This results in more extensive transport services, shorter travel times, fewer individual vehicles, and therefore less traffic and pollution, and better served suburbs. 

We have established partnerships to support several large cities:

  • Curitiba, to extend the capacity of the public transport network and create an ecological corridor along the river which runs through the city
  • Rio de Janeiro, to facilitate travel by upgrading suburban trains, extending the metro network and developing a “single ticket”
  • São Paulo, for the creation of a train line connecting the city center to Guarulhos International Airport.

We are also supporting the urban mobility policies of the States of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro via a Fund for Technical Expertise and Experience Transfers (FEXTE). 

Supporting renewable energies

ethanol production plant, biofuel, renewable energy, Brazil

Supporting renewable energies

Brazil is the world’s 8th largest energy consumer and has considerable natural resources. Consequently, 40% of its energy mix is based on renewable resources. Hydropower dominates the sector, but the recurrent droughts weaken production: the country needs to find new energy sources. It can count on its enormous wind, solar and biomass potential for this. AFD is assisting Brazil’s public policies for the development of green energies and the promotion of energy efficiency. 

For example, we are supporting the investments made by electricity companies in power transmission and distribution grids and in innovative technologies, such as smart grids.

More effectively managing and developing natural resources

Local recycling / waste depot, Brazil

More effectively managing and developing natural resources

Water resources endangered

Brazil holds some 12% of the world’s freshwater. These resources are abundant, but unevenly distributed and increasingly exploited due to the expansion of the agriculture sector, the growth in consumption by individuals and industry, and the increase in hydropower generation to meet demand. 

AFD is helping actors in the sector reduce losses on water distribution networks, improve the energy efficiency of treatment plants, reuse wastewater and preserve basins and watersheds.    

And excessive amounts of waste

Many Brazilian cities do not have up to standard landfills, while the quantity of urban waste is constantly increasing. Consequently, Brazil has set key objectives, via its National Waste Policy, in terms of shared responsibility and promoting clean technologies. Other challenges include putting an end to fly-tipping and developing waste sorting, as well as integrating waste collectors. 

AFD is assisting Brazilian municipalities and private actors in the implementation of the government program. We focus on exchanges of expertise between Brazilian and French actors for this purpose, especially for the issues of recycling, composting and energy production.

For example, we are operating in the City of Toledo, in Paraná State, where we are financing the municipality’s environmental program. 

Public policy dialogue

Barigui park, Curitiba, urban landscape, Brazil

Public policy dialogue

AFD has a close partnership with the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), both as a member of the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) and at local level. This relationship provides a platform for dialogue on the themes of green finance and climate finance. 

At the same time, our partnership with the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA), a Brazilian think tank attached to the Ministry of Planning and member of the OECD Development Centre, promotes the production and dissemination of knowledge on subjects of common interest. The main areas of work: alternative models for growth pathways directed towards the energy transition (GEMMES project), urban development issues, and Brazil’s role as an emerging donor. 

Infrastructure financing

infrastructure works, Brazil

Infrastructure financing

Brazil is today the world’s 8th largest economy. But it has been experiencing a period of recession since 2014. The federal authorities have set out to revive the country’s economic activity by adopting a massive plan for concessions in infrastructure in order to upgrade and manage highways, rail transport, airports and ports. Consequently, Brazil’s financial market and the international private banking sector are being called on to play a key role in infrastructure financing. Partnerships between public and private actors are also promoted.

AFD is actively involved by supporting innovative projects led by territorial authorities, concessionaires for public services and private actors. How? Through green credit lines in partnership with public banks (or private banks via PROPARCO), to promote climate finance, and through assistance in setting up public-private partnerships. The projects supported concern renewable energies, energy efficiency, street lighting, depollution and waste management, water and sanitation and urban mobility.

AFD also supports technological innovation and the digital revolution in these various sectors, with the aim of promoting “smart” cities. 

projects financed in 10 years
of projects for the fight against climate change
EUR 1.8bn
committed since 2007

Brazil, a country with continental dimensions, is, with its 207 million inhabitants, the world’s 5th most populous country. It stretches over an area of 8.5 million km², making it the world’s 5th largest country. It borders the Atlantic Ocean in the East and is home to two-thirds of the Amazon Forest and exceptional biodiversity: 14% of all known species are identified there. Its border with France extends over more than 700 km.
Brazil has experienced years of economic development, which have made it the world’s 8th largest economy. This growth is based on a vast domestic market (it has a middle class of some 100 million people) and a diversified economy: the world’s 3rd largest exporter of agricultural products, one of the leading exporters of mining products, a strong industry and modern services. The country is one of the major emerging powers making up the BRICS group.

However, between 2015 and 2017, the economic giant experienced a deep recession, which it is only just beginning to come out of. In addition, prosperity does not benefit everyone: Brazil is still marked by social inequalities, insecurity and a chronic lack of infrastructure, which it needs to overcome. Furthermore, the exploitation of its mineral wealth and the development of agro-business continue to put a heavy strain on its natural resources.

Consequently, Brazil needs to renew with growth that combines environmental protection and social progress. It also has a crucial role to play in the fight against climate change. The country is proactive in international climate negotiations and has pledged to keep the deforestation of the Amazon in check, which is its main source of CO2 emissions. But it has also pledged to promote renewable energies, improve the quality of transport and preserve its water resources.

AFD has been active in Latin America since 2007 and is working with Brazil to promote a sustainable and solidarity-based development model, with the climate being a strong marker for its operations in the region. It focuses on a partnership-based approach, bringing together Brazilian and French actors. 

AFD has a wide variety of operating methods in Brazil: loans to the public sector (and private sector via PROPARCO), mobilization of grant funds to finance technical assistance and expert missions, support-advice services, public policy dialogue. 

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This map is for illustrative purposes only and does not engage the responsibility of the AFD Group
Funding type


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  • Climate
  • Energy
  • Forests and Biodiversity
  • Global Partnerships
  • Health
  • Infrastructure
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Water and Sanitation

Funding type

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  • Grant
  • Non Sovereign Non Concessional Loan
  • Sovereign Concessional Loan
  • Sovereign Non Concessional Loan


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