SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 27 February 2024, Tuesday |

Brazil to propose mega fund to conserve forests at COP28 climate summit

Brazil is to offer a “huge” fund to pay for tropical forest conservation at the United Nations COP28 climate change summit in Dubai later this month, the country’s senior climate negotiator said on Thursday.

This hitherto unknown finance mechanism would be the latest in a long line of multinational environmental funds. Countries agreed last year to create a massive fund dedicated to biodiversity and another to compensate for the devastation caused by climate change.

The funds funnel money from rich countries to poor developing nations that struggle to otherwise pay for their environmental efforts.

Brazil is the world’s largest rainforest nation and contains some 60% of the Amazon jungle. It is seen as vital to curbing climate change and protecting unique plant and animal species.

Brazil presented the idea of a tropical forest conservation fund on Thursday at a meeting with ministers from seven other Amazon rainforest countries, according to Brazil’s top climate diplomat Andre Correa do Lago.

“It’s a conceptual proposal with a view to create a fund to help conserve tropical forests around the world…in 80 countries,” Correa do Lago said.

He said that the proposal is not finalized and Brazil is seeking support and suggestions from the other rainforest nations.

Asked if the fund would rival $100 billion in annual funding previously promised by rich nations in climate financing, Correa do Lago declined to give the proposed size of the fund but said it would be “huge.”

The fund would not value forest conservation in terms of carbon, like many existing schemes, since protecting forests would primarily prevent further greenhouse gas emissions rather than absorbing additional carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, Correa do Lago said.

He said the value would likely instead be linked to the area of forest measured in hectares, or units of 0.01 square kilometers (0.0039 square mile).

The international proposal to conserve forests will be partnered with a domestic program to reforest destroyed areas.

Brazil also will launch plans at COP28 for an “Arc of Restoration” to counter the so-called arc of deforestation that is advancing ever deeper into the Amazon.

National development bank BNDES will run the project, he said.

BRAZIL IS BACK

Shortly after winning election, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at last year’s U.N. climate summit COP27, announced “Brazil is back” as an international environmental leader.

This year, he will present how Brazil is advancing on all environmental fronts, Correa do Lago said, including reducing Amazon deforestation in the 12 months through July to the lowest level since 2018.

The eight Amazon countries are also discussing a proposal on whether to issue a joint commitment to end deforestation by 2030, a target already endorsed by Brazil and some others.

Correa do Lago said that the proposal was advancing but declined to say if the deal could be announced at COP28.

He said Lula will push hard for the world to redouble efforts to limit climate change to a 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) temperature rise, despite many analysts saying this target may be out of reach. Global temperatures have already risen about 1.2 degrees Celsius on average.

Correa do Lago declined to say whether Brazil would support a COP28 decision to “phase out” fossil fuels entirely. At past COP summits, China and India have blocked that language with the nearly 200 countries in attendance instead only calling for a “phase down” of fossil fuels.

    Source:
  • Reuters