The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture (Coalizão Brasil) — sees improvements in the contributions to the global climate agreement ((INDC) announced by the Brazilian government, but emphasizes that the interaction between society and government in monitoring metrics and implementation of mechanisms is necessary. The movement will now get more involved in the economic benchmarks related to the INDC to understand the needs and necessary developments. In November, it will present its conclusions in order to help in the COP 21 discussions.
São Paulo, October 5, 2015 — Representatives of The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture (Coalizão Brasil) analyzed the Brazilian contributions to the climate agreement (INDC) and concluded: the proposed figures are significant, and they will need significant efforts in the implementation and alignment between society, productive sectors and government. The movement — formed by over 100 companies, civil society organizations, research centers and sectoral entities — notes that the reduction of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions by 37% by 2025 and by 43% by 2030, based in 2005, is more significant than previously considered.
The items covered in the INDC announcement brought out two points for consideration: the short-term and immediate forecast has not yet been defined and there is need for greater involvement of the society in the metrics and implementation mechanisms on several areas. “It is important to note that there was a commitment to unify the various sectors around the global goal of not exceeding the increase in the average global temperature beyond 2°C, to be agreed at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP-21, taking place in Paris in December”, says Celina Carpi, Chairwoman of the Ethos Institute Deliberative Board. “Moving forward, the interaction with society will be critical to ensure mechanisms that will materialize contributions. In fact, this is a great challenge for Brazil.”
After the publication of the Brazilian contributions, the Brazilian Coaltion will now get more involved in the economic benchmarks mentioned in the document. The team of experts plans to study demands, developments and the necessary efforts to put into practice the country’s commitments. An assessment of macroeconomic, social and emissions impacts will be ready in mid-November, so that it can add data to the COP discussions and will be used to work together with the government. “The Coalition has proposals and instruments to contribute to the implementation of existing commitments. We believe that if the government works together with the Coalition, with the business sector and with the various segments involved in this matter, it will be possible to elaborate an operational and tactical plan that will lead to a low-carbon economy”, says Marina Grossi, Chairwoman of the Brazilian Board for Sustainable Development (Conselho Brasileiro para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável, Cebds).
The challenges of the main goals
In terms of land use and agriculture, the announcement involved 32 million hectares: 12 million related to recovery of forests, 15 million linked to the recovery of degraded pasture, and 5 million related to crop-livestock-forest integration. “These are not trivial figures because the volume is significant”, affirms Roberto Waack, Chairman of the Amata Board. However, studies indicate that the total forest area to be recovered may be much higher. More accuracy on this will depend on the consolidation of the studies, on the application of the Rural Environmental Register (Cadastro Ambiental Rural, CAR) and on the Forest Code. “The Coalition has a commitment with the figures that come along with the implementation of the Code. Thus, if it indicates that the potential area is bigger than the area announced in the INDC, the Coalition will work with this new figure”, explains Roberto.
Beto Mesquita, Director of Land Strategy at Conservation International, highlights another aspect: “It is also essential to detail this goal among the different forms of reforestation — ecosystems regeneration, productive regeneration and homogeneous forest plantations — considering that each of them has a different potential for carbon storage and has a different impact on climate and water resilience for agriculture and cities.”
The scale presented for the recovery of degraded pastures was considered relevant by the Brazilian Coalition. The order of magnitude is in line with the movement’s expectations. The link mentioned between agriculture and forests is also important. However, once again, the key is the mechanisms to achieve the expected results. Mauro Armelin, Conservation Director for WWF, explains: “We need to specify which technological efforts the government intends to adopt, the financial incentives and how the improvement of existing programs, such as Plano ABC (ABC Plan, Sectoral Plan for Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change for the Consolidation of a Low-Carbon Economy in Agriculture), will happen.”
The biggest ambition is related to the crop-livestock-forest integration in 5 million hectares. “This integration is just beginning in Brazil. We will start almost from scratch”, says Gustavo Junqueira, Chairman of the Brazilian Rural Society (Sociedade Rural Brasileira). According to him, the subject requires extensive research to understand the impact related to effective emissions. It also requires financial and legal instruments to enable the implementation of the Forest Code and the productivity growth in rural properties. “Moreover, Brazil will also need to create mechanisms to establish legal security which is important to ensure the necessary investments to consolidate the integration. It is the position that the country is assuming and showing to the world.”
The Brazilian Coalition thinks that the end of the deforestation can happen well before 2030. “We cannot feel comfortable about waiting 15 more years to end this situation”, says João Paulo Capobianco, Chairman of the Democracy and Sustainability Institute Board (Instituto Democracia e Sustentabilidade). “For this, as determined by the Constitution and current legislation, it is urgent to make use of all instruments that support the identification and severe punishment of those who cause deforestation and also offer incentives that need to be widely used”, adds Miriam Prochnow, Executive Secretary of The Brazilian Forest Dialogue (Diálogo Florestal). The Brazilian Coalition listed resources that can help in the gradual minimization of illegal deforestation, so that the impact on the country’s emissions becomes minimal in 2030. Everything should work very quickly.
“The anticipation of the end of illegal deforestation would also be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals”, says Rachel Biderman, Executive Director of WRI Brasil (World Resources Institute). The ODS’s 15.2 goal determines that every country should implement a sustainable management of all kinds of forests, stop the deforestation, recover degraded forests and increase the reforestation significantly all over the world by 2020.
In addition, the movement adds that the country should participate actively in the appreciation of the rain forest, in the payment mechanisms for environmental services, in the carbon pricing mechanisms, in the sustainable forest management and in the elimination of illegal wood. “These topics will be part of the discussions in Paris and should be considered by the government”, affirms José Penido, Chairman of the Board of Fibria Celulose.
Regarding the energy sector, the target of 16% in the participation of ethanol and other biomass derived from sugarcane in the total Brazilian energy matrix for 2030 maintains today’s ethanol and bioelectricity share. “Depending on the estimates related to the power demand growth, this may require a considerable effort”, affirms Elizabeth Farina, Chief Executive of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (União Nacional das Indústrias da Cana de Açúcar, Unica).
The members of the Brazilian Coalition affirm that it is necessary that the international market appreciates all the efforts in support to the environmental sustainability. “The international trade needs to recognize and value the commitments, the productive chains and the low environmental impact activities to achieve the climate goals”, says Rodrigo Freire, Forest and Climate Coordinator at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Finally, for of the Brazilian Coalition, the proposed INDC combined with the movement’s intention have a huge potential in the South/South cooperation and in the development of the southern hemisphere countries within a new economic order based on low carbon emissions.