Will Brazil Become a World leader On The Environmental Discussions?
Published 25th October 2010 - 23 comments - 4714 views -
The obligation of developed and developing countries in reducing their greenhouses gases - GHG emissions has been a controversial topic, as the non-industrialized have increased their emissions due to the rapid growth in transportation and industrial sectors - as well as the unsustainable land-use and deforestation. Among these, Brazil plays a particular role. It is, no doubt, one of the nations with more opportunities to take advantage of the global climate change. In fact, some might say, it is - or has potential to be - one of the greenest countries worldwide.
Foto: Jovem Pan Online
According to the Swedish Professor Kjell Aleklett, from Uppsala University, Brazil and Russia are the more prepared countries to face a world without oil for two reasons: the capacity for producing energy and food. Around 75% of Brazil’s energy power is obtained of its hydroelectric plants and the use of biofuels is currently increasing. On the other hand, when land-uses are taken into account Brazilian position is not that green. Deforestation and the agribusiness are responsible for one-third of its emissions. Those numbers put Brazil among the most polluters countries.
The dependency on fossil-fuels is another dilemma. While countries throughout the world are investing in more efficient technologies and energies, Brazil plans its development based on new oil reserves: the so-called “Pré-sal”. The consequences of the Growth Acceleration Program, which includes the construction of dams and roads with excuses of “promoting developing”, will impact the forest conservation and live conditions of thousands people on Amazon.
Brazil is the most biodiversity country of the world. It houses around 15-20% of all planet’s species, and it number might be greater, as there are a lot of to be cataloged. However, this natural resource is not properly used. Its potential is huge. It is estimated it would generate more than $ 2 trillion a year in researches and patents - much more than Brazilian GNP. In other words: Brazil could become leader in science and technology areas, improving all economy sectors and people’s life - if income is properly distributed.
To do so, public policies are needed. Government must invest in new technologies and energy sources and think beyond an oil age. Even not being obligated to reduce its emissions - for now - Brazil must take steps to move into a sustainable model. The Brazilian National Plan on Climate Change, launched during the COP 14, in 2008, stipulates reducing deforestation 70% by 2017, reducing electric consumption demand 10% as forecasted for 2030 and increasing the ethanol use for 11%. It seems good targets, to start with, but it does not make any difference if there is not commitment.
Fortunately, Brazilians have started to realize how important the environmental issues are for social and economic development. The success of Marina Silva’s Campaign on national elections proves that point. Minister of Environment of Lula’s Government for 5 years, she and the Green Party had nearly 20% of the votes. This result made the environment one of the hot topics on second round, allowing “the country to debate not just Brazil's commitment to development and the wellbeing of the population but also its commitment to environmental preservation", described The Guardian.
Now, it is expected the new president commits herself/himself for driving Brazil to a next level - to the future.
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