Brazil: The Rise of a Natural Resources Superpower

Special Report

The global spotlight has found Brazil, host of a major U.N. sustainability summit this year, the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. This Special Report explores both the triumphs and the challenges of Brazil's rapid rise to economic and geopolitical prominence.

Editor's Picks

  • Brazil's Top Resource Riches: A Slideshow

    Natural riches have since propelled this nation of 200 million people to the top tiers of global markets. A tour of Brazil's natural resources.

  • The World’s Resource Engine Faces New Oil-Boom Promise, Curse

    In 2007, Brazilian geologists made the biggest oil find in the Americas in three decades. Buried more than five miles below sea-level, the discovery was estimated to raise the country’s crude reserves by 62 percent.

  • Coffee Drinkers From Amazon to Rio Set to Overtake U.S.

    Diogo Ribeiro da Luz, visiting a missionary friend in the heart of the Amazon three years ago, stepped into a banana-leaf tent to be greeted by a tribesman covered in red body paint asking if he wanted a cup of coffee.

  • U.S. Welcomes Brazilian Ethanol That's Now in Short Supply

    Brazil is struggling to make enough ethanol to satisfy domestic demand just as the U.S. scraps restrictions on imports for the first time since 1980.

  • Amazon Forest Destruction Slows as Climate Hurdles Remain

    As world political and business leaders ready for the Rio+20 U.N. sustainability conference in June, Brazil’s leaders are debating policy changes that could jeopardize the leadership it has earned from reducing Amazon deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Brazil’s Rich Show No Shame Building Homes in Nature Preserves

    From the sparkling, emerald-green waters of the Atlantic off the east coast of Brazil, Cavala Island looks like a tropical paradise of lush vegetation framed by giant rocks. It’s also where millionaire Antonio Claudio Resende, a founder of Latin America’s largest car-rental company, became a squatter.

  • Power Theft Spurs Demand for Smart Meters at Brazilian Utilities

    Reading electricity meters isn’t typically a dangerous profession -- unless you happen to be employed by AES Eletropaulo.

  • Push for Local Jobs Puts Petrobras Oil Targets at Risk

    Petrobras is battling the twin challenge of extracting billions of barrels of oil trapped under the seabed while starting from scratch a shipbuilding industry intended to create jobs and reduce the company’s dependence on foreign suppliers.

  • Editor's Note

    Central to sustainability is a deceptively hard question: Where does stuff come from? Global companies are spending enormous time and effort learning to answer this question with precision. An enormous amount of this stuff -- raw materials and food -- comes from Brazil, the focus of this Special Report.

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