Helping cities in Brazil adopt biogas technology for sanitation and power


Since the 1970s, Brazil has been a leader in renewable energy (RE), particularly in its use of hydropower and ethanol. However, the use of other RE sources has not been as widespread.

Energy from waste has become a viable option for the private sector, particularly with landfill gas projects that benefit from a CDM income stream. Waste management is usually a municipal matter, but local governments have generally not benefited from CDM so far, and wastewater biogas as an energy source remains unexplored by most cities despite successful experiences with it in rural areas.

The Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) campaign by ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, has already helped many cities in South America respond to climate change including 7 cities in Brazil, and this project contributes to its goals.


To work with 3-5 Brazilian city governments to focus on methane recovery as a RE source, developing tools for other cities to use and policies to regulate solid waste disposal, landfills, and waste water treatment plants. 

Main Activities

  • Select 3-5 Brazilian cities from amongst the current ICLEI CCP network, to ensure senior level commitment and significant local resources. 
  • Conduct baseline scenario research
  • Create a guide on methane recovery from landfill and wastewater to generate energy, and distribute it to more than 100 local governments
  • Train at least 60 individuals on using the guide and tool kit in a workshop
  • Providing continuous follow-up and technical assistance to the cities
  • Disseminate the project activities and results via the global ICLEI network.

Expected Impact

  • Improved urban sanitation and increased clean energy generation through methane recovery technology
  • Increased access to low-cost energy for the urban poor
  • Increased opportunities for cities to benefit from CDM revenue
  • Benchmarks established for other municipalities in energy policies
  • Integration of RE into municipal long-term planning processes
  • Enrich ICLEI’s database of case studies
  • Finance institutions and cities see sanitation expenditure as an investment rather than a cost.
Programme sector: 

RE & EE (Policy&Regulation)

Stage of project: 





2009 - 2010


€ 266,713 including co-funding from Beneficiary municipalities (tbd), US EPA, GTZ LR network project funds

Implementing agency: 

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability-Latin America and Caribbean Secretariat

REEEP grant funded by:

United Kingdom