In a preparatory action for the Climate Summit, Brazil met on April 8 with China, India and South Africa to advocate for the financing by rich countries of actions against global warming. During the meeting, a conference of environment ministers of the Basic Forum, which brings together the four countries, the Brazilian government contributed to the development of a declaration to mark a common position on climate change.
The articulation with the governments of recent industrialization was seen as fundamental to the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, regarded in the United States and Europe as the environmental villain of today.
The Foreign Ministry was preparing for a difficult summit and feared that the country – facing an international benchmark in international preservation initiatives – was isolated.
The fears were not in vain. The US government has established that Bolsonaro will be the 19th leader to speak – of the 27 scheduled to speak on Thursday – and Joe Biden was not present in the room where the video conference was being broadcast when the Brazilian’s turn finally arrived .
The main thrust of the Basic Document is the defense of climate debates guided by the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”. The concept foresees that the request for efforts to reduce emissions must respect the socio-economic conditions of each country.
“Recognizing the different historical capacities and responsibilities between developed and developing countries, the ministers stress that base countries and other developing countries need time and space for the formulation of public policies, in order to achieve a just transition of their economies, “write the governments of Brazil, India, China and South Africa.
The text also defends the environmental policies of the members of the forum, stressing that they have put in place climate policies and contributions that reflect “the greatest possible ambitions”.
The four governments criticize in the text the proposal to institute a kind of environmental tax by which imports would be overtaxed according to the “carbon footprint” of production.
According to Itamaraty interlocutors, the measure, currently adopted by the European Union, could become a discriminatory trade practice.
In the document, the signatories also state that “the ambition to support developed countries must match the ambition for action of developing countries” and that the COP26 (United Nations Conference on Climate Change, planned in November, Scotland) is expected to aim to secure a funding deal for developing countries, especially at a time when those countries are grappling with the effects of Covid.
“Ministers expressed deep concern at the insufficient and inadequate support provided so far by developed countries. The scale and speed of climate finance provided by developed countries must increase dramatically,” the countries write.
The availability of funds by developed countries is a costly point for the ambitions of the Bolsonaro government. The Brazilian leadership told interlocutors abroad that it was necessary to receive money from richer countries in order to stop the increasing deforestation in recent years in the Amazon, the main source of gas emissions – with the cattle – in Brazil.
In a meeting this month with the United States, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles even showed an illustration in which Brazil is depicted as a dog with one eye on roast chickens rolling on a machine. Above the chickens, the phrase “awaiting payment”.