The Brazilian Government has been following news reports about the alleged launch of new initiatives related to the Amazon, which are supposed to have the declared goal of supporting reforestation activities in the Amazon Forest.
The Brazilian Government would like to remind those who are considering launching such initiatives that several instruments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are already available, with a view to finance deforestation reduction and reforestation activities.
When the Paris Agreement was approved in 2015, developed countries pledged $100bn a year in climate funding for developing countries by 2020, a commitment that has been scarcely fulfilled so far.
The existing instruments under the UNFCCC are as follows:
• REDD+, which aims to give financial rewards to developing countries for results achieved in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from combating deforestation and forest degradation.
Current situation: Brazil has already achieved acknowledged reductions of 6 billion tons of CO2 equivalent from combating deforestation. Such reductions, estimated at $30bn, are still pending payment by France and other developed countries.
• Green Climate Fund (GCF), which aims to make public funding from developed countries available to developing countries for initiatives related to tackling climate change, including REDD+ projects.
Current situation: There is no clarity on the degree of commitment, on the part of France and other developed countries, to replenish resources for the Green Climate Fund.
• The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Sustainable Development Mechanism (SDM), whose terms are currently being negotiated under the Paris Agreement, and which aim to encourage private sector investment in environmental projects, including reforestation, in developing countries.
Current situation: Within the CDM, the Brazilian private sector has generated a potential reduction of 400 million tons of CO2 equivalent through several environmental projects carried out in the country, including reforestation. However, European countries have failed to buy most of their credits which Brazil would be entitled to, thus compromising relevant environmental projects in the country. Furthermore, during the negotiations of the Paris Agreement to create a new Sustainable Development Mechanism, they offered proposals that, in practice, would make the Mechanism proposed by Brazil unworkable.
It is worth pointing out that the $100bn annual funding target by 2020 will be used as the baseline for the next global climate-funding target to be negotiated at the UNFCCC for the period beyond 2020.
France – and any other countries that happen to support its ideas – are expected to engage seriously in the discussions within the UNFCCC, instead of launching redundant initiatives, with amounts considerably below their international commitments, and with ambiguous insinuations as far as the principle of national sovereignty is concerned.
Brazil is ready to move forward as a full sovereign nation, in accordance with the international instruments that we are party to and with our own environmental policy, implementing concrete actions to combat deforestation and forest degradation, particularly in the Amazon region.