Solution to climate change may lie in nature and science
On the panel “Climate Neutrality in Brazil: an end to deforestation in the Amazon and action by the business sector”, held by the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS) during the COP, experts warned that the preservation of the Amazon is essential for compliance with targets of the Paris Agreement. Issues such as the vulnerability of communities around the Amazon, agribusiness, the Brazilian forest code, maintenance of biomes in Brazil, and production and food security were also addressed at the meeting, which brought together businessmen from different sectors, in a show that only the coalition of different sectors will solve the climate crisis.
“What many scientists say, with regard to the Amazon, is that without it standing there are very few chances of achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement by the end of the century”, declared André Guimarães, from the Institute for Environmental Research of the Amazon ( IPAM).
For Marina Grossi, president of CEBDS, COP26 brought many results that she had not seen in any other edition of the COP. “The themes of climate change and biodiversity were intertwined and this is very beneficial for Brazil, which has the greatest biodiversity in the world,” she said.
“The Amazon is a key player in facing the climate crisis and its maintenance, in addition to stopping deforestation, is also important for the rain cycles and stability of the water flow, which are essential elements for agribusiness”, stated Guimarães.
Role of agribusiness
Agribusiness is responsible for 30% of the Brazilian economy and 20% of direct jobs, according to the director of the Brazilian Agribusiness Association, Marcelo Britto. “No company can even allow legal deforestation, because there will be changes that we do not want. It is necessary to reduce the legal production area and invest in technology to improve agriculture and recover the area that has already been explored”, he said.
In its latest report, the Greenhouse Gas Emission and Removal Estimation System (SEEG), an initiative of the Climate Observatory that comprises the production of annual estimates of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Brazil, showed that 73 % of carbon emissions result from agricultural activities.
Based on this data, the governor of Pará, Helder Barbalho said that even with an extensive area for illegal deforestation, about 11 million hectares, it is necessary that the financial sector transfer investments to small farmers, so that they work so hard in the preservation of their areas as well as improving productivity.
“The Brazilian forest code is very strict and defines that private owners must preserve native vegetation in the surroundings. To avoid illegal deforestation and increase the level of emissions, the best thing we can do is to give them technology and means to improve production”, he concluded.
Commitments to renew life
In the pulp and paper sector, Suzano, which is the largest producer in the world, has comprehensive work policies to contribute to the reduction of emissions and preservation of native vegetation.
“We have about 1.5 million protected and conserved areas. And we launched a program, Commitments to Renew Life, which aims to connect half a million hectares of priority areas for the preservation of the Cerrado, Atlantic Forest and Amazon biomes, where we have operations”, declared Sarita Severien, Climate Change Leader at the company.