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Brazil Has Not Complied with Its Climate Guidelines

12/04/2017 - 10h33

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ANA CAROLINA AMARAL
IN COLLABORATION WITH FOLHA

For those who have been covering Brazil's behavior since it committed itself to the Paris Agreement measures there is simply no room for argument: the country has been moving in the opposite direction of the very policies it devised.

Casting aside the rising level of carbon emissions in the country - which grew 8.9% in 2016, thus making the target of reducing emissions by 37% by 2025 even more unlikely - what truly worries climate organizations is the lack of coordination between levels of government as well as the lack of continuity when it comes to executing an environmental agenda.

Legislation that would concede subsidies to the oil and gas industry - the very industry that leads in carbon emissions around the world - is cited as the most recent example of the current administration's unwillingness to seek dialogue. The bill was approved in the Chamber of Deputies and will now go to the Senate without any input whatsoever from the Ministry of the Environment.

The president of the Joint Commission on Climate Change, Senator Jorge Viana (PT-Acre), said that he is counting "on the conscience of the Senate" to vote down the bill. Organizations believe that subsidies granted to the industry will reach the amount of R$ 1 trillion by 2040 (approximately US$ 300 billion).

According to Viviane Speranza, one of the authors of a recently-published report conducted by the World Resources Institute (WRI) on climate change policies in Brazil, the 10-year Energy Plan (PDE) reveals a disjunction between the Brazilian government's climate agenda on the one hand, and its economic agenda on the other.

Even though the National Climate Change Policy stipulated in 2009 that the PDE should be regarded as an instrument to help reduce carbon emissions in the energy sector, "the prediction for the next ten years is that 74% of investments will go to fossil fuel sources", Ms. Speranza pointed out.

According to her, in order to comply with the Paris Agreement, Brazil would first have to start complying with previous commitments in connection with the National Climate Change Policy.

Not only does the document help establish energy sector planning, it also proposes the implementation of a Brazilian Market for Emission Reduction, whereby industries that heavily pollute could purchase carbon credits from those who help reduce emissions that contaminate the atmosphere.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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