It was significant. On October 29, Brazilian governors signed the commitment letter for the Climate , which was an initiative of Centro Brasil no Clima, during the international meeting of Governors for the Climate. The initiative is a fundamental milestone because the subnational entities have become even more valuable in the discussion after the dismantling of the federal environmental policy. With the institutionalization of this cross-party alliance, the state administrations are committed to creating continued actions to combat the climate crisis, as well as seeking connections with similar initiatives in other countries.
Among other events, the governors confirmed their commitments with the Paris Agreement and also with the post-pandemic green economic recovery, which is fundamental for development. According to the letter, “the urgent economic recovery must be driven by integrated processes, which can simultaneously regenerate ecosystems, strengthen companies and generate millions of jobs, taking advantage of investment opportunities in renewable energies, reforestation, sanitation, recycling and the bio-economy, as well as in technological innovations and productive processes, with the more efficient use of public and private resources.”
On the day of the signing, the following governors/vice-governors/representatives participated (there are 27 governors in Brazil):
Governors: Renato Casagrande (ES), Helder Barbalho (PA) and João Dória (SP)
Vice-governor: Wanderlei Barbosa Dias (TO)
Governors: Flávio Dino (MA), Paulo Câmara (PE), Wellington Dias (PI), Fátima Bezerra (RN) and Eduardo Leite (RS)
Vice-governor: Pacco Brito (DF)
Secretaries present (those representing the governors in bold):
Eduardo Taveira (AM), João Carlos Oliveira (BA), Carlos Alberto Mendes Junior (CE), Fabricio Machado (ES), Jaime Verruck (MS), José Mauro de Lima O’de Almeida (PA), José Bertotti (PE), Sádia Castro (PI), Thiago Pampolha (RJ), Celso Albuquerque (SC) and Marcos Penido (SP)
However, there has been some resistance. Of the nine states that compose the Legal Amazon, only four have committed to the letter so far: Amapá, Maranhão, Pará and Tocantins. Read the full text:
Commitment letter of the Governors for the Climate
The scientific community, represented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has been warning for decades about the risks associated with global warming, whose serious natural, social and economic consequences are already evident. The seriousness and complexity of the risks of climate change demand that governments, the business sector and civil society anticipate the expected impacts, whose costs will be considerably higher and more frequent than those of the current pandemic.
The socioeconomic effects of the current health crisis are and will be severe, relapsing into levels of misery, deepening inequalities and further exposing the vulnerable portion of the population to all types of adverse weather conditions. Overcoming this crisis requires a strategic convergence of efforts, in order to enable a sustainable, inclusive and prosperous future for current and future generations.
The urgent economic recovery must be driven by integrated processes, which can simultaneously regenerate ecosystems, strengthen companies and generate millions of jobs, taking advantage of investment opportunities in renewable energies, reforestation, sanitation, recycling and the bio-economy, as well as in technological innovations and productive processes, with the more efficient use of public and private resources.
In addition to the socio-economic emergencies caused by the pandemic, the states are responsible for a considerable part of the challenges related to the prevention of and adaptation to climate impacts. Implementing preventive and constructive plans is the method to act more intelligently and at a lower cost.
Therefore, coordinated and purposeful actions, integrating the Brazilian subnational governments, are urgently required to achieve these objectives and the targets of the
Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of Brazil, which were established in the Paris Agreement. These advances will only be achieved with the consolidated combat against deforestation and illegal fires, with the promotion of clean energy, the reduction of the burning of fossil fuels, the increase in the use of biofuels, the electrification of mobility and the encouragement of low carbon agriculture.
In consideration of the urgent matters and opportunities, the Brazilian governors and signatories of this letter have established the Governors for the Climate alliance, in line with
other similar initiatives on different continents. We will be a cross-party coalition, adding ideas, strengths and knowledge in order to confront this existential threat. With a commitment of continued action, the signatory governors will appoint executive representatives to consolidate the institutionality of the alliance and build a national and international strategic agenda.
Reiterating the Paris Agreement, we will be actively engaged with the international community, as part of the global effort to keep the warming well below the 2 oC and to accelerate the transition to a clean and inclusive economy, which will benefit our security, prosperity and health.
Brazil, October 2020.