At the end of June 2015, President Barack Obama and President Dilma Rousseff put out a “U.S.-Brazil Joint Statement On Climate Change”. It’s good to see that the two Presidents put climate change at the top of their agenda when they met.
“Credit cards that help the planet.” That’s the sales pitch from a company called Sustain:Green. With the company’s new biodegradable credit card you can “Fight climate change”, “Fund rainforest preservation”, and “Reduce your carbon footprint”.
Founded in October 2011, the Rio de Janeiro Green Exchange (Bolsa Verde do Rio de Janeiro, BVRio) is a market for trading “environmental assets”, including carbon credits, forest credits, industrial effluent credits, tire disposal credits, and recycling credits.
On 9 April 2015, the Brazilian Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio) approved the commercial use of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees. This is the first approval of GE trees in Latin America. The application came from FuturaGene, a subsidiary of pulp and paper company, Suzano.
The Court of Appeal has upheld a February 2014 High Court ruling in which the Financial Conduct Authority won their case against Capital Alternatives and other firms. The FCA accused the firms of “promoting and/or operating collective investment schemes (CISs) in the UK illegally and without our authorisation”.
A paper published this week in Nature concludes that the Amazon is losing its capacity to absorb carbon. In the past decade, the carbon absorbed by the Amazon each year has decreased by about one-third.
Last week, 300 peasants from Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) occupied a meeting of the National Technical Biosafety Commission (CTNBio) and prevented a vote on the release of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees.
The controversy surrounding the Suruí Forest Carbon Project in Brazil continues. In January 2015, leaders of the Paiter-Suruí wrote a “Note of Clarification” in which they called for the end of the project. The Metareilá Association, the organisation that runs the Suruí Forest Carbon Project, has now responded with a defence of the project.
Earlier this month, the Heinrich Böll Foundation published a report written by Jutta Kill that looks at two early forest carbon offset projects in Brazil. The report is critical and documents the ongoing consequences of the projects for communities living in the area of the projects.
In 2013, after eight years of dramatic reductions in deforestation, the rate of deforestation in Brazil increased by 29%. The following year, it dropped by 18%. Unfortunately, deforestation is rising again, and is unlikely to stop – especially with the latest appointments to Brazil’s cabinet.