Forests are essential for controlling global climate change. Only the Amazon, which accounts for around 50% of the world’s tropical forests, stores around ten years of carbon emissions. If it were cut, the greenhouse effect would inexorably worsen. When stored, it absorbs a huge amount of greenhouse gases and helps reduce the problem.
Without the maintenance of forests, the world will find it very difficult to avoid the worst scenarios of climate change in the years to come. For this reason, the announcement made by Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States at the Climate Summit promoted by the Joe Biden government, to initially allocate 1 billion US dollars to projects of preservation of tropical and subtropical forests in the world, is extremely necessary.
The Leaf Coalition, based on REDD + mechanisms, short for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, brings together governments and businesses to support countries, states and municipalities that are successful and aim to reduce gas emissions associated with deforestation and forest degradation on the planet. This is an important element in the consolidation of the new global market for green raw materials, which is developing rapidly.
Brazil would be an obvious candidate for the program, with all the conditions to easily lead this new market. But our immense forest stock and the proven ability to reduce deforestation in the Amazon is currently overshadowed by an anachronistic stance by the federal government on what leadership and accountability mean in climate debates.
The increase in deforestation is a consequence of the inoperability or low efficiency of actions in the environmental sector, and they do not go unnoticed by the rest of the world. Instead of making preservation conditional on sending resources, as if the Brazilian forests were hostage and exclusively owned by Brasília, the federal government should strengthen command and control measures and expand the capacity of traditional populations, the private sector, states and municipalities in the conservation of this asset.
To advocate for Brazil’s good share in a green commodities market, we need to resume and strengthen the measures that in the recent past have enabled the country to reduce Amazon deforestation by over 80% – still good. to remember, to double the production of soybeans and in the region and definitively break the outdated paradigm between conservation and rural expansion.
We can repeat this feat with the commitment of society in general. Scientists, NGOs, businesses and governments must work together to ensure that traditional populations and rural farmers have their contribution to the fight against climate change recognized, and Brazil is a good example for the rest of the world.
As in politics, in the commodities market, no space is left empty, and it will not be otherwise in the area of forest assets. Having the world’s largest rainforest doesn’t guarantee a place at the forefront – it takes accountability, commitment, transparency and good results.
It is not too late to change direction, but it must happen as soon as possible so as not to miss the opportunities that present themselves.