30 July, 2009

Large companies ask Brazil to adopt GHG emission targets

A group of large and influential Brazilian and global companies is drafting a document to be delivered to president Lula, asking the government to change its attitude and accept compulsory targets for the reduction of GHG gases, the Brazilian newspaper Valor Econômico reports today (requires subscription, in Portuguese only).

The group is formed by 11 leading companies operating on the domestic and global markets from the paper and pulp, energy, beverage, and metal processing industries. Trade associations from the sugar and ethanol, pulp and paper, and agribusiness sectors have also joined the group. According to a spokesperson for the initiative “to say that we are not going to commit to tackle climate change is impracticable today”.

They want to “deconstruct” the official Brazilian position that to adopt emissions reduction commitments on international deals would harm the country’s economic development.

Especially for the Brazilian economy there is no contradiction between a sound climate change policy and economic performance. The country’s matrix of resources offers competitive and comparative advantages to transition to a low-carbon economy. Besides a huge part of its emissions come from deforestation and forest degradation that generates no development at all. On the contrary they lead to a boom and bust cycle detrimental to the majority of the local population.

Brazil could reduce about 40% of its emissions from the industrial and transportation sectors by 2020, only by increasing energy efficiency with existing technologies, and revamping its road/truck dependent logistics, developing alternative and more carbon-efficient modals.

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