In the same month President Donald Trump announced that he would withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, the President of Brazil, Michel Temer, reinforced Brazil’s commitment to preserving the environment by signing a decree officially publicizing the Paris Agreement in Brazil. With the act, the agreement becomes part of Brazilian law.

“Brazil will make its contribution, and live up to its responsibility. We know that climate change is a real problem, and we have to tackle it systematically and vigorously. Its effects are already felt in Brazil and in the world,” said the president after signing the decree.

The Paris Agreement was approved by the 195 signatory countries to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UFCC) in 2015. Its goal is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and foster sustainable development.

The signatory countries have committed to keep global average temperatures at less than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and make efforts to limit temperatures to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

Temer initially ratified the agreement in September last year by signing an official document through which the Brazilian government committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 37% by 2025 and 43% by 2030 (using 2005 as the baseline).

Environment Minister Sarney Filho and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Aloysio Nunes Ferreira Filho released a joint statement expressing concern over the United States’ withdrawal from the agreement:

“The Brazilian Government received with profound concern and disappointment the announcement made on June 1st, that the government of the United States of America intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and “renegotiate” its reentry. Brazil is seriously concerned with the negative impact of such decision on the multilateral dialogue and cooperation to respond to global challenges.

Brazil remains committed to the global effort against climate change and to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The fight against climate change is an irreversible process that cannot be postponed and is compatible with economic growth. It provides opportunities to promote sustainable development and foster sectors of cutting-edge technology. The Brazilian Government will continue to work with all countries that are Parties to the Agreement and other stakeholders in the promotion of sustainable development, with low emissions of greenhouse gases and resilient to the adverse effects of climate change.

The Paris Agreement establishes the outline for Parties to present national efforts reflecting each one’s responsibilities and capabilities. The Agreement provides leeway for each country to define measures and policies to regulate the emissions of greenhouse gases, in a way that better suits domestic circumstances, so as to harmonize economic growth with the protection of the environment.

Brazil Commitments

Brazil intends to commit to reduce gre-enhouse gas emissions by 37% below 2005 levels in 2025. Subsequently, it intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% below 2005 levels in 2030.

Consistent with the long-term vision of holding the increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, Brazil will strive for a transition towards energy systems based on renewable sources and the decarbonization of the global economy by the end of the century, in the context of sustainable development and access to the financial and technological means necessary for this transition.

Brazil intends to adopt further measures that are consistent with the 2°C temperature goal, in particular:

i) increasing the share of sustainable biofuels in the Brazilian energy mix to approximately 18% by 2030, by expanding biofuel consumption, increasing ethanol supply, including by increasing the share of advanced biofuels (second generation), and increasing the share of biodiesel in the diesel mix;

ii) in land use change and forests:

– strengthening and enforcing the implementation of the Forest Code, at federal, state and municipal levels;

– strengthening policies and measures with a view to achieve, in the Brazilian Amazonia, zero illegal deforestation by 2030 and compensating for greenhouse gas emissions from legal suppression of vegeta-tion by 2030

– restoring and reforesting 12 million hectares of forests by 2030, for multiple purposes;

– enhancing sustainable native forest management systems, with a view to curbing illegal and unsustainable practices;

iii) in the energy sector, achieving 45% of renewables in the energy mix by 2030, including:

– expanding the use of renewable energy sources other than hydropower in the total energy mix to between 28% and 33% by 2030;

– expanding the use of non-fossil fuel energy sources domestically, increasing the share of renewables (other than hydropower) in the power supply to at least 23% by 2030, including by raising the share of wind, biomass and solar;

– achieving 10% efficiency gains in the electricity sector by 2030.

iv) in the agriculture sector, strengthen the Low Carbon Emission Agriculture Program (ABC) as the main strategy for sustainable agriculture development, including by restoring an additional 15 million hectares of degraded pasturelands by 2030 and enhancing 5 million hectares of integrated cropland-livestock-forestry systems (ICLFS) by 2030;

v) in the industry sector, promote new standards of clean technology and further enhance energy efficiency measures and low carbon infrastructure;

vi) in the transportation sector, further promote efficiency measures, and improve infrastructure for transport and public transportation in urban areas.

Brazil recognizes the importance of the engagement of local governments and of their efforts in combating climate change.

Source: BrazilGovnews and Itamarty