The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is in New York, at the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement, at the UN headquarters. More than 60 heads of state will attend the event. The ceremony opens the one year period for countries to formalize their commitment to the treaty and encourages the national ratification processes.
For the Brazilian Coalition — a multi-sector movement formed by over 120 companies, sectoral associations, research centers and civil society organizations —, the advances in the climate agenda not only address the risks of global temperature rise but are also a key to promoting a new development model based on low-carbon economy, generating income and jobs.
“The Paris Agreement opens a new era and it is necessary to complete the legislative process for its ratification. The business sector and the civil society are committed, organized and attentive in what regards to the fulfillment of the Brazilian commitments, regardless of the economic difficulties and political situation of the country. We need to make clear that the benefits of low-carbon economy are concrete. The challenge now is to multiply the necessary initiatives on several fronts”, says Celina Carpi, Chairwoman of the Ethos Institute Deliberative Board and member of the Brazilian Coalition.
The positive impacts that may arise from the implementation of the Brazilian goals (INDC) also include the preservation of water resources, traditional cultures and the rich biodiversity of the country. “The agreement represents an opportunity for megadiverse countries, like Brazil, to attract investments and build a new relationship model between human activities and environment”, says André Guimarães, Executive Director of IPAM (Environmental Research Institute of the Amazon), also of this coalition.
In the last few months, dozens of professionals from the Brazilian Coalition working groups have started to place their efforts towards the priority steps for the country to gradually reach the targets presented under the Agreement. Some of the main challenges are listed below by members of this group.
“The dissemination and large scale adoption of low-carbon practices, such as crop-livestock-forest integration, mentioned in Brazil’s commitments for the climate, calls for simplification measures to access agricultural credits for those who adopt these techniques, as well as efforts in the science and technology fields. This should happen in the research development area and also in the dissemination of its results, and should be put into practice in the rural production sector.” — João Paulo Capobianco, Chairman of the Board of IDS (Institute for Democracy and Sustainability)
“We have to make an effort for the vast majority of landowners to register their properties in the Rural Environmental Registry (Cadastro Ambiental Rural, CAR) until May 5th. This is a central element in the new Forest Code so we can understand the size of the restoration challenge in Brazil. Knowledge and planning are essential aspects for us to achieve the implementation of the Forest Code and to fulfill Brazil’s commitments for climate — social, economic and environmental impacts will be vast here and in the entire planet. Brazilian agribusiness has a great responsibility in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. With the support of the whole society, we will transform the most important type of business in the country into something even stronger and more sustainable.” — Gustavo Junqueira, Chairman of the Sociedade Rural Brasileira (Brazilian Rural Society)
Economy based on the rain forest
“There are several restoration models, from ecological recovery until planned planting of commercial species, which would boost the economic activity, generating jobs and income in different regions of the country. We are working to establish a research and technology platform linked to the forestry of native species, involving the main organizations in the sector, companies, government and the academic community.” — Rachel Biderman, Director of WRI Brazil (World Resources Institute)
“An important way to combat illegal deforestation is to promote the value chain of legal timber. This means that we have to strive for the immediate implementation of a system that gives full transparency and traceability for all licenses issued along the timber path, from logging and processing until sales. This action together with monitoring and controlling activities can enhance and protect forests and promote more responsible and sustainable businesses.” — Roberto Waack, Chairman of the Board of Amata
Valuation of the carbon market
“Brazil should move forward in the elaboration of a REDD+ National Strategy that is tangible and effective. REDD+ (Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and other carbon valuation mechanisms are tools that help in the achievement of goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and they also generate benefits for local communities. When a community realizes that it is worth keeping the forest alive and works for this, the investment received for forest preservation can be converted into health, education and local infrastructure, which changes the understanding of the biomes and the planet as a whole.” — Miriam Prochnow, Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Forest Dialogue (Diálogo Florestal)
“We need to resume the policy for biofuels: to assess taxation, to continue research development and to establish clearly the role of ethanol (including second generation ethanol) and biodiesel in the Brazilian energy matrix. In parallel, there is the challenge of developing a global standard for the use of biofuels and establishing cooperation platforms between Brazil and other countries.” — Elizabeth Farina, CEO of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (União da Indústria da Cana de Açúcar, Unica)