Trench Rossi Watanabe once again participates in major global climate-related discussions. This time, we are at the Climate Week NYC and side-events organized around the 77th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
Last week we attended Brazil Climate Summit in New York, which involved some of the major experts on the subject, such as: Nancy Gillis – World Economic Forum; Bruce Usher (Columbia Business School); Marcello Brito (Arapyaú Institute); Marcelo Behar (Natura&Co); Thiago Picolo (Re.Green); Bruno Aranha (BNDES); Janaina Dallan (Carbonext); Annie Groth (Biofílica Ambipar); Roberto Waack (Arapyaú Institute); Paula Kovarsky (Raízen); Arthur Ramos (BCG); Paul Polman (former CEO, Unilever); Patricia Ellen (Aya Initiative); Ilona Szabo (Igarapé); Izabella Teixeira (Brazil’s former Minister of Environment); Gonzalo Muñoz (UN); Carlo Pereira (UN Global Compact); Marina Grossi (CEBDS); among many others.
Below are the highlights of the two-day summit discussions:
- Cooperation, accountability and opportunities were the main key words among the panels. Brazil has a tremendous opportunity to generate positive impacts for the climate change and wellbeing of people.
- Social aspects cannot be dissociated from the climate conversation. The S on ESG need to be addressed alongside the E goal to decarbonize the planet. Expectations and projects must be aligned with the three ESG pillars.
- Brazil is a hub for nature-based solutions. By connecting new technologies, such as green hydrogen, we will have an even greater advantage in comparison to developed countries. We also have a great competitive advantage related to the use of biofuels and a clean energy matrix.
- The improvement of the regulatory framework in Brazil is crucial to “get projects off the ground,” as long as there is no constraint on the market. Even though Brazil is a protagonist in the climate arena, it does not mean it is a leader in the conversation. The government and the private sector need to understand the climate agenda as a developing opportunity, not only on the climate arena, but also in geopolitics. It is time to assume this leadership by treating the forest as a solution, and not as a problem.
- Financial investments are not enough; we must also seek for technology solutions to address basic problems perceived on the local ground, such as waste disposal, illegal activities and others. It is necessary to assess and deal with the problems in the day-to-day of each project, in addition to understanding the mosaic of the impacted biodiversity. Only by correcting such problems we will be able to explore the full potential of the Brazilian forest.
- Many companies have already realized that addressing climate change is not just mandatory, but a long-term investment that offers an essential return for the existence of their business.
- According to a recent study, the world will need USD 100 trillion to USD 150 trillion along 30 years to fight climate change. Brazil by itself will need USD 2 trillion to USD 3 trillion to decarbonize itself in this period. Nonetheless, given our local advantages, we have the potential to accelerate such change and become green positive, helping other countries. The carbon market’s potential in Brazil can reach USD 50 billion to USD 100 billion per year, by 2030.
- BNDES announced it will open a new public call for the purchase of credits, this time including Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) projects, agro-sustainable projects and urban mobility.
- The idea that agribusiness is the enemy in the fight against climate change must be demystified. The sector must be at the center of decarbonization policies. The key is to assess the supply-chain to better understand what needs to be improved. Companies have to set standards and help the local communities to adapt and become compliance, rather than simply discredit them.
Our Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change team remains available to assist in these new challenges.