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Climate resilience and transition to low carbon economy

Risks and Opportunities of the Transition to Low Carbon

Our investment strategy incorporates the assessment of transition risks. The assessment of the intensity of GHG emissions and the impacts on Net Present Value (NPV) of a possible carbon pricing are part of the sensitivity analyzes of the process of evaluating new investments. Opportunities related to the adoption of low carbon technologies are quantified in these sensitivity analyses. In addition to the deterministic NPV analysis in the various strategic scenarios and the carbon pricing sensitivity analysis, risk analyzes are carried out considering other uncertainties that may impact the profitability of investment projects: oil prices, gas prices, oil product prices, exchange rates, investment cost, operating costs, implementation schedule, production curve and demand for products.

Our focus and management

Our approach to climate change is based on three pillars:



In addition to internal monitoring, we provided external disclosure regarding our carbon strategy, management, and performance, following the best transparency practices worldwide. In June 2020, we decided to publicly support the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), a benchmark for disclosing financial results related to carbon risk, and we have just published our new version of the Climate Change Supplement structured in accordance with these guidelines. 

Our decarbonization initiatives

  • Among the various initiatives underway to implement actions to reduce GHG emissions are:
  • Neutral Carbon Program: aims to identify the best solutions for the decarbonization trajectory at the lowest cost, with a fund of USD 248 million.
  • “All electric” concept: electrification of the greatest possible number of equipment and applications in new oil and gas production platforms.
  • HISEP® (High Pressure Separation) technology: patented by Petrobras and in the testing phase, in which the CO2-rich gas that leaves the reservoir is separated and part of it is reinjected from a system located on the seabed, preventing this volume from being processed.
  • RefTOP Program: a set of initiatives to increase the efficiency and operational performance of refineries, with an investment of approximately USD 300 million by 2025.
  • Biorefino 2030 Program: includes projects to produce a new generation of more modern and sustainable fuels, such as renewable diesel and aviation biokerosene (BioQAv).

- Hiring of Eco Type vessels:  ships with low sulfur fuel and with lower consumption.

Emission performance

In terms of absolute operational GHG emissions, between 2015 and 2021, we dropped 21%. In 2021, emissions totaled 62 million tCO2e, higher than the result of the previous three years. This increase is a direct consequence of the atypical thermoelectric dispatch in a year of water crisis, even in a scenario of reduction in our carbon intensities in E&P and Refining.


History of direct GHG emissions (millions of tCO2e)

Biogenic CO2 emissions are not representative in our inventory.


In 2021, we reinjected around 8.7 million tons of CO2 separated from the gas produced in our pre-salt fields, reaching an accumulated total of 30.1 million tons of CO2 reinjected since 2008. We highlight that, according to the Global Status of CCUS report issued in 2021, Petrobras operated in 2020 the largest CCUS project in the world in terms of annual injection.


Accumulated history of CO2 reinjected in CCUS projects (millions of tCO2)


In addition to managing emissions from our operations, we monitor emissions from our suppliers and products (Scope 3 emissions).


Value chain emissions (millions of tCO2e)


The following references are used as a reference for the calculations of the scope 3 emissions presented: Life Cycle Assessment Comparison of North American and Imported Crudes, prepared for Alberta Energy Research Institute, 2009 e Guidance methodology for estimation of scope 3 category 11 emissions for oil and gas companies, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), updated in 2022.


Emissions of regulated pollutants (t)


The one-off increase in NOx and PM emissions in 2021 is directly related to the higher atypical thermoelectric dispatch this year in a context of water crisis, including the need to dispatch liquid fuel thermal plants to meet the demand of the National Electric System Operator (ONS). The 2021 result for CO was affected by the need to operate FCC (fluid catalytic cracking) units in a partial CO burn regime.

SOx emissions, more significant in the Refining segment, which corresponded to 73% of the total emission of this pollutant in 2021, had a relevant reduction in 2021 compared to 2020. This reduction was largely linked to the reduced operational factor of some process units at the Abreu e Lima Refinery (RNEST) throughout the year, in addition to a general maintenance stoppage of this refinery. The good performance of sulfur recovery units in other refineries also contributed to the reduction of SOx emissions.

In terms of unused hydrocarbons in our operations, we have historically observed a reduction in volumes burned in flares or directly dissipated into the atmosphere. As already reported in previous items, this constant reduction in flaring is mainly due to the better use of gas in E&P operations. With regard to hydrocarbons dissipated directly into the atmosphere, we also observed a significant reduction in 2021, as a result of improvements and the reduction of losses in our units.


Unused hydrobarbons

a) We considered the records of volume of gas flared in the activities, while they are part of our portfolio, of exploration and production, refining, production of fertilizers, treatment and transport of gas.

b) We considered records of gas released directly to the atmosphere through venting and depressurization events (fugitive emission losses in line and equipment components are not included).

c) About 99% of the volume of flared gas occurs in Brazil.



In 2021, our thermoelectric park generated around 29.9 million MWh, with 92% of this energy generated from natural gas thermoelectric plants and only 8% from oil based thermoelectric plants.


Renewable energy generation

Data on renewable energy generation considers Petrobras generation. This means that, in the case of generation in companies in which Petrobras has holdings (onshore wind and hydroelectric power), only Petrobras' share in the company is considered. We do not have hydroelectric plants with a capacity of less than 10MW. We also do not generate geothermal energy from waves or tides, from biomass or from an offshore wind farm.


Energy consumed

In 2021, we consumed 932 thousand terajoules (TJ) or 434 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) of energy, which represents a 14% increase when compared to the previous year. This increase is directly related to the increase in thermoelectric generation in 2021, due to greater demand from the ONS increases because of the sharp water crisis in Brazil this year.

Socio-environmental investment in forests

Through the Petrobras Socio-environmental Program, we voluntarily supported, in 2021, 17 projects focused on forest recovery and conservation of areas. In addition, four more new projects will be added to the portfolio in 2022, resulting from public selection. The total investment during the execution of these 21 initiatives will be BRL 69 million, considering contracts that started in 2018 and others that will develop their activities until 2025.

The projects in force in 2021 worked on the direct recovery or conservation of more than 175 thousand hectares of forests and natural areas of the Atlantic Forest, Amazon, Caatinga and Cerrado, contributing to the mitigation of GHG emissions due to deforestation in Brazil. The estimated benefit of the work carried out to date by these projects is around 1.3 million tCO2e, of which 95,500 tCO2e refer to net removal by recovery and productive reconversion actions and 1.2 million tCO2e, emissions avoided through actions that prevent deforestation and forest degradation. These values represent the results accumulated until 2021 in projects in force in that year, considering, on average, a period of five years.

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