WWF: Brazil needs to align policy to growing climate risk



Posted on 12 September 2013  | 
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.”

Notes to editors:

1. The Brazilian Panel on Climate Change (PMBC) is a national scientific body that aims to gather, synthesize and evaluate scientific information on the relevant aspects of climate change in Brazil after the publication of National Assessment Reports. An English language executive summary of the draft assessment report considered at the conference can be found at
http://www.pbmc.coppe.ufrj.br/documentos/sumario-executio-ing-web-25-08.pdf

2. WWF’s global campaign Seize Your Power was launched in June 2013.

For more information please contact
Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwf.org.za / +27 82 553 4211 (please send SMS if urgent) @MandyJeanWoods
Samantha Smith ssmith@wwf.no / @pandaclimate

In Brazil
Patricia Andrade patriciaribeiro@wwf.org.br/ +55 11 30744745
Carlos Rittl carlosrittl@wwf.org.br / @carlosrittl

About WWF
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling up green finance, engaging the private sector and working nationally and internationally on implementing low carbon, climate resilient development.

See www.panda.org/news for latest news and media resources and Seize Your Power! campaign news
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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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