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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former Brazilian president and presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reacts during an election night party on the runoff day of Brazil’s presidential election in Sao Paulo, Brazil, October 30, 2022. REUTERS/Mariana Greif Analysis-Brazil's Lula hopes to unite rainforest nations, tap funding at COP27Analysis-Brazil's Lula hopes to unite rainforest nations, tap funding at COP27

Michael Taylor

Kuala Lumpur (Analysis-Brazil's Lula hopes to unite rainforest nations, tap funding at COP27 Thomson Reuters (NYSE: FOUNDATION) – Brazil’s president-elect Luis Inacio Lula da Silva seeks to create a new coalition of rainforest nations, environmentalists say, This could be the key to unleashing conservation funding and supporting a flagging global forest convention at the COP27 climate summit.

Lula begins engagement with Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to build a tropical forest nation’s United Front, according to a senior aide to the leftist leader.

On the eve of the COP27 UN climate summit in Egypt from 6-18 November, green groups urge Brazil and other forest nations to work with potential donors on rainforest conservation Strengthen their bargaining power when negotiating​​.

“A coalition of countries like Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo — all facing similar threats — could put pressure on rich nations to speed up efforts to stop deforestation ,” said Annisa Rahmawati, head of Indonesia conservation group Satya Bumi, noting Lula’s commitment to put forest protection at the heart of its economic plans and policies.

Deforestation has major implications for global goals to curb global warming, as trees absorb about one-third of the world’s climate-heating carbon emissions, but when they rot or burn, they absorb release their stored carbon.

Forests also provide food and livelihoods, clean forest air and water, support human health, are important habitats for wildlife, eat rainfall and provide flood protection.

But beyond the financial pain of COVID-19, forest-rich countries grapple with high energy and food price pressures related to Russia’s war against Ukraine Popular, harnessing natural resources is seen by many as a solution.

Last year, a Dutch-sized piece of tropical forest disappeared, and Brazil had the highest rate of deforestation, according to the monitoring service Global Forest Watch.

Lula wants to turn that around, promising in his campaign victory speech to tackle illegal logging, mining and land grabbing that have led to a surge in Amazon (NASDAQ: ) deforestation in the past Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has been in power for four years.

“Having such a powerful voice (like Lula) in any future coalition will expand and accelerate efforts to move towards just and climate-friendly economic development, while ensuring that our forests remain Untouched,” Rahmawati said.

Norwegian cash return

Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo last year at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, more than 140 countries Agree to stop and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030.

Progress has been slow to date on the agreement, with $19 billion in public and private funding pledged to invest in protecting and restoring forests.

Since then, Germany has committed €1.5 billion ($1.5 billion) per year to international biodiversity financing, while Norway has agreed to a new funding agreement with Indonesia, Reduce its carbon footprint by protecting biodiversity. Rainforest – may open doors for additional support from other donors.

Norway’s environment minister said this week on social media that it will also revive an agreement to pay Brazil for the protection of the Amazon forest, which has been destroyed in the world’s largest forest after being frozen. Under Bolsonaro, the rainforest has soared.

Meanwhile, the carbon market, another tool to slow deforestation, has been hampered by low prices, said James Deutch, chief executive of the Rainforest Trust of America.

If the three most important potential government sellers of forest carbon credits join forces, it could help raise the price paid per ton of CO2 abatement, he added.

“This is an interesting and potentially powerful strategy to increase currency flows, reduce deforestation and mitigate climate change,” he said.

The three countries also have a lot to teach the world about forest conservation, said Amy Duchelle, senior forestry officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

She said Brazil was a climate change success story in the early 2000s, when a government led by Lula slashed the rate of deforestation in the Amazon.

“Indonesia (also) has recently been successful in reducing deforestation,” Dusiel noted, adding that there is a huge opportunity for these countries to lead by example and demand to be more forest-friendly other government policies.

Common Challenges

Another positive for the new Rainforest Alliance is the Net Zero Goal and the Climate Washington think tank World Resources Institute Rod Taylor, director of global forests, said the first effort to forge such a partnership a decade ago failed.

He added that the three countries could now tap into greater financial and political momentum “if they play well”.

But environmentalists say enforcing forest protection laws in remote areas is a problem for all three while Bolsonaro allies form in Brazil’s Congress the largest bloc, which could hinder Lula’s policy push.

Jaeger, executive director of Toerri’s Oslo-based Norwegian Rainforest Foundation, said potential partners “face many of the same issues” including how to monitor deforestation, stop illegal activity and support Forest people.

He added that other forest countries – such as Colombia – could also negotiate and join any new coalition at COP27 to create a “stronger and more effective” coalition .

“If done right, cooperation and exchange of experiences among rainforest nations can help address deforestation,” Jaeger said.

(1 USD=1.0227 EUR)

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