WWF: Brazil needs to align policy to growing climate risk



Posted on 12 September 2013  | 
Aerial view of flooded forest during rainy season with floating plants, Rio Negro Forest Reserve, Amazonas, Brazil
© Michel Roggo / WWF-CanonEnlarge
Brasilia, Brazil – As Brazil’s new climate change panel underlined the severity of expected climate impacts to the country, WWF-Brazil called on the government to respond with policies that reduced climate related costs and damage.

The First National Assessment Report (1st RAN), outlined at a Brazilian Panel on Climate Change (PMBC) conference this week, finds that a drier, hotter Amazon region will come under increasing pressure during this century, with a failure to curb deforestation bringing on severe impacts much earlier.

While most of Brazil will suffer drier conditions, southern coastal areas that include many of Brazil’s major population centres will face a warmer, wetter and more variable climate. Extreme weather events are predicted to increase, with areas of the Amazon already having experienced two “one in a hundred years” droughts in just over a decade.

“With the impacts already being felt and all the predictions being for worse impacts, it is imperative that the Brazilian government gears up its response to climate change,” said Carlos Rittl WWF-Brazil Climate Change and Energy Programme lead.

“While our landscape comes under increasing threat, Brazil’s climate policy landscape is an incoherent patchwork of uncoordinated responsibilities scattered around different departments at multiple levels of government.”

“In spite of some progress in recent years, Brazil’s climate agenda is still marginal and not mainstreamed into major development plans.”

“For instance, while Brazil has immense potential for low impact renewable energy, such as wind, solar and biomass, we are putting 70 per cent of all our energy investments between now and 2020 into fossil fuel based energy.

“In addition, the Government of Brazil invested US$ 46.6 billion between 2011 and 2012 on agriculture and ranching (responsible for 35% of Brazilian emissions in 2010) in the country, but allocated only US$ 1.5 billion to low carbon agriculture.”

WWF Global Climate & Energy Initiative leader Samantha Smith said, 
“While the science is clear, the need to act is even clearer. “WWF’s global “Seize Your Power” campaign is directed at keeping us off a dangerous downward spiral by shifting investment flows from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

"Brazil is ideally placed to make this change and to change the course of its development towards a cleaner, safer future.”
Aerial view of flooded forest during rainy season with floating plants, Rio Negro Forest Reserve, Amazonas, Brazil
© Michel Roggo / WWF-Canon Enlarge

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