Position papers
  • 10-Nov
  • 2017

São Paulo, November 10, 2017 – The official negotiations at COP 23 will have the important mission of advancing to devise the rulebook for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, which will standardize the NDCs (climate targets) to ensure that the commitments of the countries are comparable. Brazil, as well as the majority of the signatory countries, is at this stage, and to make the Agreement a reality, needs to rely on a strategic plan for implementation of its NDC.

Although it is ambitious, the Brazilian NDC is a feasible target for the country, which has already proved to be able to reduce its GHG emissions, through the fall in the rates of deforestation in the Amazon region between 2004 and 2012, simultaneously with a period of extraordinary sustainable productivity jumps in Brazilian farming.

However, currently, Brazil has faced a period of environmental setbacks and of increase in its CO2 emissions by around 9%. Even though the most recent data from INPE indicates a decline of 16% in the deforestation of the Amazon in the last year, the country is still far from achieving its climate target. Therefore, COP 23 will be an important moment for Brazil to align discourse and practice, proving that it will redirect its actions and public policies toward a low-carbon economy and following its leadership in international discussions, stimulating greater ambition in both the Brazilian NDC and in the Paris Agreement.

For this reason, the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture believes that the implementation of the NDC should be seen as an agenda for a low-carbon development for Brazil, which will bring economic opportunities, achieving positive results in agricultural production and in environmental conservation, concomitantly, and not only as the fulfillment of a public commitment. To this end, it is important that the discussions on the implementation of the NDC in COP 23 consider various aspects, which are detailed below.

The low-carbon economy should bring fundamental social impacts, such as the creation of quality jobs, generation and distribution of wealth, improvements in people's health, greater recognition and protection of indigenous peoples and traditional communities, and other benefits to society as a whole.

For the transition toward this economy, national and international economic mechanisms will be required, in order to build new standards of production and consumption. If it is not regulated by public policies and instruments capable of inducing new vectors of demand and supply, the action of the strength of the market alone will not suffice to achieve the climate targets and an economic turnaround. Among these instruments there are the carbon pricing, payment for environmental services, REDD+, etc.

In addition, actions of monitoring are crucial to measure the effectiveness of investments and understand the best way of guiding them. Allied to governance, wide transparency should also be observed, which will allow society to monitor and evaluate the progress of climate targets and, therefore, it is also necessary to ensure mechanisms for the participation and involvement of different players.

Finally, the development, availability, access and dissemination of technologies for new economic models must complete the transition to low-carbon development. Whether in agriculture and cattle raising production or in the forestry business, innovation is the inducer of a new economy, which must be accompanied by actions of training and technical assistance to workers.

Brazilian Coalition hopes that COP 23 can enhance the discussions on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, considering all the points addressed here as essential in a national strategy. Several members of the movement will be present at the conference, contributing and monitoring the international negotiations and will be at the disposal of players on the agenda of climate, forests and agriculture interested in joining efforts.

 

About the Brazilian Coalition

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement established to propose initiatives and influence public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy by creating decent jobs, encouraging innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generating and distributing wealth across society. Over 150 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations have already joined The Brazilian Coalition – coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 14-Sep
  • 2017

São Paulo, September 14, 2017 – 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)

 

About the Brazilian Coalition

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement established to propose initiatives and influence public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy by creating decent jobs, encouraging innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generating and distributing wealth across society. Over 150 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations have already joined The Brazilian Coalition – coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 11-Sep
  • 2017

Note of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture on Senate Bill 626/2011:

São Paulo, September 11, 2017 – Senate Bill 626/2011, sponsored by Senator Flexa Ribeiro (PSDB-PA), which is being processed by the Federal Senate, aims to authorize sugarcane cultivation in the Legal Amazon, in already degraded forest areas and in stretches of savannas and general fields of the states that make up the region.

This bill contradicts the efforts made by the federal government, the productive sector and society towards the sustainable production of sugarcane in the country. In 2009, the Brazilian government approved Decree 6961, which provides for Agroecological Zoning and determines areas and rules for the licensing of new plants, excluding expansions on sensitive biomes such as the Amazon and Pantanal, as well as areas of native vegetation. Bill 626/2011, proposing a change in the zoning guidelines, could cause a strong pressure for deforestation in the Amazon biome.

Brazilian biofuels and sugar are not associated with this deforestation. Senate Bill 626/2011 can tarnish this reputation and jeopardize the markets already conquered and the value of Brazilian products. Brazil needs to focus on promoting increased production of bioenergy and biofuels in the current unused areas, along with environmental preservation.

The demand for economic development in the Amazon regions is legitimate. However, the Coalition believes that the creation of quality jobs can only be achieved through the low-carbon economy. Currently, sugarcane cultivation occupies about 10 million hectares. Zoning, by excluding 92.5% of the Brazilian territory as unfit for sugarcane cultivation, still allows its expansion in 64.7 million hectares, of which 19.3 million hectares are areas of high productive potential.

Therefore, we understand that, in protecting sensitive biomes, zoning signals areas big enough to enable agribusiness to expand and intensify its production while ensuring the preservation of protected areas. These areas are critical to provide ecosystem services, such as maintaining temperature and rainfall regimes.

Therefore, the Brazil Coalition defends the maintenance of the sugarcane Agroecological Zoning terms and demands that Senators members of the next Commissions read Senate Bill 626/2011 (Commissions for Agriculture and Agrarian Reform and Environment, Consumer Protection and Inspection and Control, with a final decision) to consider the risks mentioned above and vote for their rejection. The sugarcane industry plays an important role in meeting the Brazilian climate target and is able to increase its participation in the national energy matrix by 18% without plowing under the Amazon.

 

About the Brazilian Coalition

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement established to propose initiatives and influence public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy by creating decent jobs, encouraging innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generating and distributing wealth across society. Over 150 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations have already joined The Brazilian Coalition – coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 29-Aug
  • 2017

Note of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture on the extinction of the National Reserve of Copper and its Associates (RENCA):

São Paulo, August 29, 2017 – The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture condemns the extinction of the National Reserve of Copper and its Associates (RENCA) carried out by presidential decree on August 28. Even if this decree replaces the previous one to detail how environmental preservation will take place in the region, this measure again is announced without being subjected to discussions with society. The Brazilian Coalition believes that without listening to the different stakeholders, the Government will not be able to construct an adequate plan to ensure the preservation of regional protected areas, all the more while refusing to conduct a socio-environmental study on the impact of the extinction of the reserve.

This measure comes in addition to other Government and Congress actions that contradict the development of a low-carbon economy, one that creates quality jobs, fosters innovation, boosts Brazil’s global competitiveness, while generating and distributing wealth to the whole society. This decision otherwise worsens the national scenario of social and environmental setbacks.

The threat to forest protection has already been identified as a concern by the Brazilian Coalition, in the case of bills to reduce Conservation Units (CU) and specifically in the case of Provisional Measures 756 and 758, actions that can cause increased deforestation in the country and that, unfortunately, returned to the Congress’ agenda as a bill (PL No. 8107/2017). Even if the current decree does not change the rules of the nine environmental protection areas present in RENCA, releasing the mining activity results in drastic changes in the occupation dynamics of the region while bringing great risks to the maintenance of these areas and their ecosystems. One of the areas that could suffer from the extinction of RENCA is the Tumucumaque Mountains National Park, the largest national park in Brazil and the largest in the world's rainforests.

Currently, only 0.31% of RENCA's forest area is deforested, according to PRODES data. According to IPAM (Amazon Research Institute, in the Portuguese acronym) calculations, this percentage should increase to 5%, even if the protection of the environmental areas is not changed, or even reach 31%, if these protected areas lose their effectiveness in containing the pressure of deforestation, which can be caused by the multiplication of legal and illegal mining, mainly, in the area of the Paru State Forest (figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1. A 5% increase in deforestation in RENCA's forest area, even with maintenance of environmental protection areas.

 

Figure 2. A 31% increase in deforestation in the RENCA forest area, if protected areas lose effectiveness in containing the pressure of deforestation.

 

Fighting against deforestation and forest protection are critical conditions for agribusiness to function, given the influence of forests on rainfall, biodiversity in crop pollination and temperature variation, especially in the Amazon region. Preservation, especially in a world under threat of climate change, is also a key part of Brazil's ability to fulfill the commitment made in the Paris Agreement, reducing its emissions of greenhouse gases, including those from deforestation.

The role of protected areas in fighting against deforestation has historically been critical. According to a study by IPAM, the creation of 24 million hectares of areas of integral protection or sustainable use played a key role to the decline in deforestation between 2005 and 2008.

The extinction decree of RENCA goes against this history and is seen, by the Brazil Coalition, as part of a set of social and environmental setbacks. More than addressing such setbacks, it is also essential to give urgency and strengthen the implementation of the Forest Code, combating attempts such as the extension of the deadline for registration in the Environmental Rural Registry (CAR).

The extinction of the mineral reserve also adds to the risks present in the process of reviewing the regulatory framework for environmental licensing, which is being processed in Congress, that may change the environmental rules for the mining sector. The Brazilian Coalition listed principles and guidelines that need to be guaranteed in the revision of this statute to stimulate the economic activity in line with the preservation of the socioenvironmental assets.

Therefore, the Brazil Coalition requires the interruption of the national socioenvironmental setbacks scenario, which has threatened public interest agendas, such as environmental protection and the implementation of the Forest Code, and calls for the repeal of the decree until a formal process discussion and consultation on the extinction of this reserve.

 

About the Brazilian Coalition

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement established to propose initiatives and influence public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy by creating decent jobs, encouraging innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generating and distributing wealth across society. Over 150 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations have already joined The Brazilian Coalition – coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 14-Jul
  • 2017

Parliament members may override the presidential veto on provisional measures 756 and 758, and analyze a new draft bill that affects the same region

São Paulo, July 14, 2017 - Even though president Michel Temer has vetoed Provisional Measures (MP) 756 and 758, which threatened to reduce nearly 600,000 hectares of important forest protection areas in the states of Pará and Santa Catarina, this week the subject returned to members of Congress, who may reject the presidential decision. Additionally, a new draft bill (PL 8107/2017) was presented to the Chamber of Deputies yesterday with the utmost urgency, to specifically address the reduction of 349,085 hectares in the Jamanxim National Forest, in Pará.

Analysis of the MP vetoes had been scheduled for the Chamber during yesterday's plenary session on July 13. But the subject was struck from the agenda and should be analyzed before the Chamber’s next session on August 15.

MP 756 and 758 not only affect the Jamanxim National Forest (Flona), but the Jamanxim National Park in Pará and São Joaquim National Park in Santa Catarina, which are critical areas for preservation. For example, from 2004 to 2016 the Jamanxim National Forest lost more than 117,000 hectares of forests, which led to the release of 70 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to calculations from the Environmental Research Institute of the Amazon (IPAM). By 2030, the expropriation of this area may result in 280,000 fewer hectares of forest, and the emission of 140 million tons of CO2.

In May, the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture publicly requested the veto of these measures. A letter signed by the Brazilian Coalition was delivered to the president and several other representatives of the Brazilian government. Numerous national and international organizations and leaders voiced their opposition, including the model Gisele Bundchen, who received Temer’s response with regard to the veto via Twitter.

The president vetoed the MP on the deadline for the sanctions, on the eve of a visit to the Norwegian government, which is a leading investor in the Amazon Fund. Even so, he could not reverse the image of increasing Brazilian deforestation, and Norway consequently announced a R$ 200 million cut in its donations to Brazil.

The goal of draft bill 8107 is to replace MP 756 and to further increase the area established in the original version of the MP, which converted part of the Jamanxim National Forest into an Environmental Protection Area (APA), a less rigid category which allows privately held properties, farming, and mining within these areas.

When announcing that Temer would veto MP 756 and 758, Environment Minister Sarney Filho had already declared that a draft bill would be submitted to address land conflicts and illegal activities in the region, which has been the scene of numerous protests. On July 7, pickup trucks belonging to the Brazilian Environmental Protection Agency (Ibama) were burned in an attack on this agency’s inspection and monitoring efforts.

The current social and environmental setbacks in Congress (according to these MP and this draft bill) go far beyond environmental damage. The country is not only losing investments, but also a great opportunity to position itself as a leader in the low-carbon economy; it is also ignoring the significant work of constructing regulatory frameworks like the Forest Code, and groundbreaking tools like the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) and the National System for Control of the Origin of Forest Products (Sinaflor).

 

About the Brazilian Coalition

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement established to propose initiatives and influence public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy by creating decent jobs, encouraging innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generating and distributing wealth across society. Over 150 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations have already joined The Brazilian Coalition – coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 21-Jun
  • 2017

São Paulo, June 21, 2017 - The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests, and Agriculture – a multi-sector movement formed by over 150 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations, that aims the development of a low-carbon economy – refutes the proposal that advances in Congress, which extends once again the time to register with the Environmental Rural Registry (CAR).

The draft bill PLS 287/2015, which is pending in the Senate, extends to May 2018 the limit of the benefits of the Forest Code, weakening its deployment agenda. Such extension disrespects the rural producers who have joined the CAR within the time limit set by the law and benefits those who are in the margins of legislation.

Most producers have already registered and started the process of compliance with the Code. Statistics available on the official CAR portal indicate that almost 100% of the areas that can be registered – based on data by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) – are already registered in the system. In total, the CAR System (Sicar) has already registered over 400 million hectares, and more than 4 million rural owners and squatters with CAR throughout the country.

CAR certainly represents one of the utmost advances in the implementation of the Forest Code. The achieved results turned Sicar into one of the largest geospatial databases in the world, with a vast network of rural properties and settlements; as well as their respective areas of protection: legal reserves, permanent preservation area, and areas of restricted use. Sicar is one of the most relevant Geographic Information Systems (GIS) worldwide.

Therefore, the Brazilian Coalition understands there is no reason to extend, for the third time, the registration with CAR. A possible extension of the legal term only benefits a small part of landowners, who already had more than enough time to rectify.

The Brazilian Coalition also highlights the urgency to intensify Government’s support regarding the registration of the small rural producers, settlers, and quilombolas, so that they may be in the Sicar’s base within the term established in the current law. We believe the priority now is to ensure progress in the CAR’s validation process by the States, and the implementation of the Environmental Regularization Program (PRA). These actions will bring even more credibility to the Forest Code, and to Brazil's leading position in the international environmental markets and agendas, by showing markets that the country's agricultural products respect the law, and demonstrating Brazil's engagement to commitments such as the Paris Agreement.

Thus, concerning the Brazilian institutions and the laws created, the Brazilian Coalition stands against any modification in the Forest Code that brings greater legal insecurity to the rural producer, damages to the environmental agenda, and delays in the implementation of this legislation. Therefore, we request the senators and deputies from Parliamentary Fronts of Agriculture and the Environment, and other representatives, not to follow up on this agenda, avoiding the increase of divergences and changes in the agri-environmental agenda.

 

About the Brazilian Coalition

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement established to propose initiatives and influence public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy by creating decent jobs, encouraging innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generating and distributing wealth across society. Over 150 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations have already joined The Brazilian Coalition – coalizaobr.com.br/en