Brazil has a pathway to preserve forests, but an alliance with OPEC+ is a setback

02 dezembro 2023

This move strengthens the bloc of oil producers and goes against the urgent and necessary energy transition needed to combat the climate crisis
By WWF-Brazil

In its participation at COP 28, the Lula government demonstrated a commitment to defending tropical forests, indigenous peoples, and traditional communities. While signaling a positive stance by endorsing the declaration on food systems and agriculture, it contradicts climate goals by advocating an alliance with OPEC+. 

The Brazilian government's proposal "Tropical Forests Forever," presented on Friday (1), is a significant move with the potential for collaboration with other Amazonian countries, Congo, and Indonesia, as well as the appreciation of natural ecosystems in general. Despite being in the early stages, the initiative is innovative, introducing a disincentive to deforestation while rewarding conservation, with the prospect of a simple, objective, and transparent implementation mechanism. It is crucial for the proposal to gain momentum and traction with a concrete action plan that prioritizes indigenous and traditional communities.

Also positive is Brazil's endorsement of a declaration recognizing the need for food systems and agriculture to contribute to environmental conservation and restoration. The acknowledgment of the role of family farming and indigenous and traditional communities in addressing the climate crisis is important. The text emphasizes the commitment to include agriculture in national mitigation and adaptation plans (NDCs), but it does not address combating deforestation resulting from the sector's activities. Commitments with clear goals and monitoring mechanisms are still lacking, ensuring that the declaration moves beyond rhetoric and indicates a decarbonization path aligned with 1.5°C.

Despite positive signals in combating deforestation, the announcement of Brazil joining OPEC+ is contradictory. This move strengthens the bloc of oil producers and goes against the urgent and necessary energy transition needed to combat the climate crisis, both in Brazil and globally.

Lastly, President Lula emphasized that there is no climate agenda without social justice. After four years of neglecting socio-environmental concerns, there is now an effort towards environmental reconstruction, but there is still much progress to be made. It is hoped that the Brazilian government translates its leadership expressed at COP28 into tangible actions and public policies. Furthermore, there is a need to strengthen dialogues and engagement with civil society in shaping COP30 in 2025, in Belém.
Presidente Lula e a Ministra Marina Silva durante a COP 28, em Dubai
© COP28 / Stuart Wilson