The Brazilian NDC, ratified by the country in 2016, will be one of the main guiding principles for Brazil’s sustainable development agenda in the coming years. Its implementation will demand the integration of efforts from many sectors of the economy, to reach Brazil’s total emission target of 1.3 GtCO2 in 2025.
In the last decade, we have promoted one of the largest reductions in carbon emissions by a single country, through the reduction of deforestation in the Amazon between 2005 and 2014. Land-use and agriculture changes, especially deforestation, remain the most relevant sectors for Brazil’s NDC, since together they respond for about two thirds of our national emissions1. The resumption of deforestation’s reduction, as well as the recovery of forest areas and reforestation, will require large volumes of resources, in addition to a permanent commitment from governments, the private sector, and society in general.
In this scenario, multiple mechanisms will be required so that Brazil fulfills its emission reduction targets. Among these mechanisms, there are those focused on new financing strategies – including new market mechanisms – capable of attracting investors interested in mitigating climate change. They will be increasingly relevant and may guarantee the scale up liquidity to existing mechanisms of carbon valuation.
Under this perspective, the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism represents the greatest opportunity to finance the emission reduction efforts undertaken in Brazil. However, to date, our capacity to raise resources through REDD+ has been limited to about 6% of the national potential. According to the reference values of the agreements signed by the Amazon Fund (US$ 5/tCO2e), and based only on emissions reductions from deforestation in the Amazon, Brazil could have raised US$ 30 billion between 2006 and 20152.
However, until now, the country has raised less than US$ 2 billion, an amount far below the potential offered by the emission reductions shown. Investments in REDD+ are essential for compliance of Brazilian NDC. They must be addressed transversally and complementarily to the Brazilian Forest Code enforcement, the promotion and expansion of sustainable forest management, restoration actions, and payment for ecosystem services, among others agendas. Therefore, the Brazilian Coalition understands that some short and medium term measures must be taken to prepare the country to benefit more from the opportunities of REDD+ investments, as listed below:
1. Create and regulate effective and complementary mechanisms for assessing emission reductions from deforestation and removals related to forests and agriculture in Brazil, including participation in national and international carbon markets, as applicable, to support the enforcement of the Brazilian NDC.
2. Continue with the design and implementation of the Brazilian Emissions Reduction Market (MBRE), fostering the implementation of pilot projects over the next two years, creating a work agenda that stimulates synergies between the market and the valuation of forest assets.
3. Regulate article 41 of the Brazilian Forest Code. This article addresses incentives for environmental conservation in private properties, as well as other legal provisions (draft bills on payment for environmental services, state legislations on REDD+, among others), that enable the capture, conservation, maintenance, and increase of the carbon stock.
4. Acknowledge subnational initiatives (such as state REDD+ Programs and ongoing pilot projects in the Amazon) as key elements for the National REDD+ Strategy and to obtain additional resources for environmental management and reduction of deforestation in the biome.
5. Reformulate the governance of the National Commission for REDD+ (CONAREDD+) to ensure fairness in decision-making procedures (e.g., with votes in blocs), expanding the number of seats for civil society, including the private sector, and accelerating implementation of the National REDD+ Strategy.
6. Create a reference level to increase forest stocks in Brazil, within the scope of the national REDD+ strategy, so that the mechanism can also be used for the recovery of degraded areas, Permanent Preservation Area (APP), Legal Reserve (RL) and others, and to expand the supply of forest products by management or plantation.
7. Broaden the scope, fundraising, and swiftness of implementation of the Amazon Fund, based on the following measures: (i) raise resources for all verified removals; (ii) incorporate the stocks’ increase in the limits of fundraising; and (iii) include all Brazilian biomes, both for demonstration of removals and for fundraising.
The Brazilian Coalition highlights the regulatory role of the Brazilian State for REDD+ and advocates a comprehensive, technically-motivated debate involving all stakeholders. We believe that the regulation of a REDD+ system in Brazil would attract new financial resources aiming to implement the national climate targets.
Finally, we recognize that after 2020, with the revision of NDCs, new markets and opportunities for carbon credit negotiations may emerge in the world. It is therefore important that Brazil prepares to participate in these new markets, thus attracting new investments for the land use and forest sector. We believe that the recommendations provided herein are essential steps for Brazil’s readiness for this new moment.
1 Data from the Greenhouse Gas Emission Estimate System (SEEG), 2016.
2 Considering results achieved and reported in the Info Hub Brazil (http://redd.mma.gov.br/en/infohub)