An article by: Editorial board

Stop deforestation in the Amazon: in the first six months of 2023, deforestation rates decreased by 33 percent. At the BRICS summit in August 2023, Brazil will present a maxi-plan for an energy transition aimed at saving the “green lungs” of the Earth. The country will give preference to offshore wind energy and the production of “green” hydrogen.

Energy transition, expanding renewable energy sources, and, as a result, a sharp reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, protecting the environment. These will be some of the central topics of the BRICS summit – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – to be held in Johannesburg on August 22-24.

At this summit in South Africa, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will present a maxi-green plan subdivided into more than a hundred points, which provides for a rapid increase in clean energy production, reducing CO2 emissions, and saving the Amazonian forests known as the “green lungs” of the whole world. The implementation of the program, designed to turn Brazil into a model country for all other emerging economies and more, will require investments of “many hundreds of billions of dollars,” and it is expected that the partners of the BRICS group will certainly not be left behind.

Among Latin American leaders, President Lula is considered one of Russia’s closest allies. While India suspended Moscow’s proposal to launch the BRICS internal currency as soon as possible, and Argentina retreated under Western pressure by postponing its request to join the group, the President of Brazil defined the “de-dollarization process” as the basis for building a new multipolar world order without hegemony of the USA and the dollar.

On April 13, at the ceremony for nominating Dilma Rouseff, a Brazilian politician, economist and Da Silva’s former predecessor from 2011 to 2016, for the presidency of the New Development Bank (BRICS credit institution – ed.), the President of Brazil wished for the launch of the BRICS coin, which should be a worthy alternative to the dollar. “Every night I wonder why all countries should base their trade on dollars. Who decided that our national currencies are weak and have no value in other countries? Who decided that the purpose of the dollar is to become the main international currency after the disappearance of the gold standard?” Financial Times newspaper quotes Lulu.

For Lula, 77, in his third term as president, the transition to a circular economy is one of the cornerstones of the government’s strategy to accelerate Brazil’s economic and social development. Thus, among the key points of the Lula administration’s “green” program are the launch of a legislative package that would stimulate the development of offshore wind farms and the production of “green” hydrogen, the protection of the Amazonian forests, and also – as already done in the European Union with its Emissions Trading System EU ETS, as well as in China and India – the creation in Brazil of a modern market for CO2 emissions.

Last June, Brazil’s Energy Minister Alexandre Silveira presented the first legislative package that would regulate electricity generation using modern offshore wind farms, as well as the production of “clean” hydrogen. In this regard, the Brazilian government is exploring the possibility of reallocating funding from state funds in favor of research and development of “green” technologies and modern circular economy in general. After the January 26 appointment of Jean Paul Prates, who is considered one of President Lula’s closest associates, as the head of Petrobrason, the state oil company has announced “substantial investments in wind power and hydrogen.”

Like all BRICS countries, Brazil has also announced a drastic reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. But unlike Russia, which can at best cut CO2 emissions by 48% over the next 27 years, while the realistic goal announced by the Kremlin as a 36% reduction in pollution recorded in the now distant 1990, Brazil has set itself the goal of “zeroing” net carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Brazil currently ranks 12th in the world in terms of CO2 emissions and produces only 1.3% of the carbon dioxide emitted annually into the atmosphere. The country already receives more than 90% of its electricity from environmentally friendly sources: hydroelectric power accounts for about 55% of all electricity generated. In addition, Brazil’s only nuclear power plant, Central Nuclear Almirante Álvaro Alberto (CNAAA), with only two reactors, produces 3% of all energy.

The top five polluting countries emitting the most greenhouse gases into the atmosphere are China (31.1% of the total), the USA (13.9%), India (7.5%), Russia (4.7%), and Japan (3.1%).

Protecting the Amazonian forests will be a particular focus of Brazil’s climate agenda: according to environmental movements, the “green lungs of the Earth” absorb less and less carbon dioxide, putting the planet’s climate at risk and accelerating the process of global warming. Unlike the previous administration led by Jair Bolsonaro, whose political priority was “expanding agricultural activities in the forest to reduce poverty in the region, often at the expense of the environment,” President Lula’s administration is fighting to curb deforestation in the Amazonian region, which is close to the point of no return. Assuming the presidency on January 1, 2023, Lula promised its “zero destruction” by 2030.

The first more than positive results of President Lula’s initiatives were presented last June in Rio de Janeiro: according to satellite data, during the first six months of Lula’s third presidential term, deforestation in the Amazon decreased by 33% compared to the situation recorded in the first half 2022. But to end the illegal exploitation of forests, a real scourge of Brazil’s poor regions, the government will have to find a way to invest in alternative economic opportunities. It will be much easier if Lula’s economic climate initiatives are supported primarily by finance and technology from the Brazilian partners of the BRICS group.

 

Giornalisti e Redattori di Pluralia

Editorial board