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Brazilian and international civil society denounces the forestry offsets of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement

Brazilian and international civil society denounces the forestry offsets of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement

On Monday, December 9, more than 70 organizations signed the “COP 25 - No to forest offsets in article 6 of the Paris Agreement”, In which they defend Brazil's historical position against forests in the carbon market. Social movements, environmental NGOs, representative bodies, indigenous organizations and traditional communities expressed their support.

In the text, the entities denounce forest compensation (offset) as a false solution: “some actors have used COP25, the political crisis the country is going through and the dramatic environmental setbacks, especially in the Amazon and the Cerrado ( sabana), as a pretext to demand measures in favor of the monetization of the country's forest assets, creating possibilities for the commercialization of the forest, which would be transformed into CO2 credits to offset the GHG emissions of other countries. The organizations that signed this letter view these proposals with concern and defend the maintenance of Brazil's historic position against forest offsets, agreeing that any change in this direction would endanger the environmental integrity of the country and the planet, ”the note says.

Madrid, December 9, 2019.

COP 25 - No to forest offsets in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement

During the 25 years of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, many proposals have emerged as a solution to the climate crisis. Including forests in carbon offsets is one of these. Since the first proposals on the subject were presented, numerous organizations and social movements, NGOs, representatives of indigenous peoples, peoples and traditional communities in Brazil and around the world have expressed concerns and denounced what has conventionally been called the false solution to climate crisis.

In the current context of international negotiations, countries are about to regulate Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. This article presents updated versions of the flexibility mechanisms that already exist in the Kyoto Protocol: joint implementation, now called the cooperative approach, and the Clean Development Mechanism, now the Sustainable Development Mechanism. Since its introduction, including the most recent versions of the Paris Agreement, civil society has rejected the different ways in which countries are exempted from fulfilling their responsibilities, at the expense of actions implemented in the territories of other countries, such as the Amazon. Brazilian. In the name of obtaining resources for climate action and with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas / GHG emissions at the lowest possible cost, we are about to legitimize a reprint of forest carbon offset mechanisms.The valorization of the standing forest cannot be at the expense of the transfer of responsibilities.We believe that countries should reduce their emissions within their territories, as well as finance the Green Climate Fund, a commitment that has already been made unconditionally.

In this context, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change / IPCC, in its report on Climate Change and Earth, reinforces this tendency to bet on the so-called nature based solutions, which should represent 1/3 of the emission reductions. This narrative, while drawing attention to important points, can recycle old false solutions.

At the national juncture, some actors have been using COP25, the political crisis the country is going through and the dramatic environmental setbacks, especially in the Amazon and the Cerrado, as a pretext to demand measures to monetize the country's forest assets, creating possibilities commercialize the forest, which would be transformed into CO2 credits, to offset GHG emissions from other countries. The organizations that signed this letter consider these proposals worrying and advocate maintaining Brazil's historic position in relation to forest compensation, agreeing that any change could endanger the environmental integrity of the country and the planet.

Why are forest offsets a false solution?

1) The transformation of forests into monetizable natural capital assets implies aloss of sovereignty over territories, both for the populations and for the Brazilian State. The conditions for monitoring intangible assets depend on a huge monitoring and control infrastructure, including via satellites. Selling these assets (carbon from the forest, the Cerrado and other biomes and ecosystems) to other countries and companies will have implications for governance and self-determination in the future.

2) Furthermore, forest offsets serve as an incentive for countries to keep the ambition of their commitments at the same level. The basis of the Paris Agreement depends on national commitments determined voluntarily by each government, and only emission cuts beyond those commitments could be traded in offsets markets. With offsets, the lower the national commitments, the more there is left to sell, creating a stimulus for low ambition.

3) They do not provide any additional benefit to reducing emissions because it is a zero sum game. They are never effective reductions, because there is a trade-off. What is reduced through non-forest emissions continues to be emitted in another sector.

4) The sale of emission reduction credits, made from long commitments, also implies the future mortgages of thousands of people who will already be born without the State and the people in their territories having sovereignty over the policies and actions that can be created for the protection and use of their common assets

5) The proposal draws the focus of the confrontation with the real national forest problems promoted by interest groups that want to weaken forest protection policies in the country, and still feed the discourse of those who want to undermine Brazilian environmental legislation.

At the national level, we see a setback in the laws and policies that guarantee the protection of land rights and the environment. In the midst of this crisis and offensive, the discourse returns that the purchase and sale of forest carbon would be a solution to confront the growing deforestation and capture and receive the necessary resources for surveillance and monitoring. This is combined with efforts to reconfigure the National Commission for REDD + (CONAREDD +) and the Amazon Fund so that they can also lead to offsets. As attractive as the discourse may seem, the above arguments show that you are defending a false solution aimed at benefiting a small group of actors (those who would continue to emit greenhouse gases or receive mobilized resources), but would have serious consequences for Brazil and the world.

We cannot divert attention from the real solutions and policies needed to tackle the climate crisis.

Therefore, we demand the maintenance of the Brazilian historical position in relation to forest compensation.

They sign:

350.org
350.org Brazil
350.org Latin America
Ecological action - Equador
Action for biodiversity - Argentina
Biodiversity Alliance
Friends of Terra Brazil
Associação Paraense de Support for Lacking Communities (APACC)
Alternatives for Small Farming no Tocantins (APA-TO)
Articulação Nacional de Agroecologia (ANA)
Biodiversity Coordination Network Association (Costa Rica)
Associação Agroecológica Tijupá
Articulação Pacari_Raizeiras do Cerrado
Articulação PomerBr
Articulação Tocantinense de Agroecologia (ATA)
Associação Unidade e cooperação para o Desarrollo dos Povos (UCODEP)
National Campanha in Defesa do Cerrado
Fluminense House
Agroecological Center
Support Center for Community Action Projects (CEAPAC)
Zero Fossils Latin America
Latin American Coalition against Fracking for Water, Climate and Life (COESUS)
National Coordination of Articulation of Rural Black Communities (CONAQ)
Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT)
Conselho Nacional das Populações Extrativistas (CNS)
Conselho Comunitário do Bailique (CCB)
Cheat
ETC Mexico
PHASE - Solidariedade e Educação
Federação dos Trabalhadores Rurais Agricultores e Agricultoras Familiares do Estado do Pará (FETAGRI-PA)
Faith, Peace and Climate
Fórum da Amazônia Oriental (FAOR)
Forum for Climate Change and Social Justice (FMCJS)
ARAYARA Foundation
Gaia Pacha Foundation
Greenpeace Brazil
Carta de Belém Group
Group of Brazilian Women (GMB)
Jubileu Sul
Institute of Socioeconomic Studies (INESC)
Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysis (IBASE)
Carvão Zero Institute
Ecovida Institute
Instituto Padre Ezequiel (IPER)
Manchineri Tshi Pinte Hajene (MATPHA)
World March of Mulheres (MMM)
Coco Babaçu's Quebradeiras Interstate Movement (MIQCB)
Movimento de Mulheres Camponesas (MMC)
Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB)
Movimento dos Pescadores (as) artesanais do Brasil (MPP)
Two Small Farmers Movement (MPA)
Movimento pela Soberania Popular na Mineração (MAM)
Movement of Two Workers and Workers Rurais Sem Terra
Não Fracking Brazil
Nucleus Educamemória
Observatório do Carvão Mineral (OCM)
Pomer Pampa
Ponto de Cultura Alimentar Iacitata
Maranhão Agroecology Network (RAMA)
Rede Bragantina de Economia Solidária Artes e Sabores
Rede Brasileira pela integração dos povos (REBRIP)
Brazilian Network of Environmental Justice (RBJA)
Pantaneira Traditional Communities Network
Rede Guarany Brazil
Rede Guarany PY
Rede RAMA de Cultura Alimentar Amazônica
Sindicato dos Trabalhadores Rurais Agricultores e Agricultoras Familiares de Santarém (STTR / STM)
Terra de Direitos
Rede Bragantina de Economia Solidária Artes e Sabores
Pantaneira Traditional Communities Network
Rede Terra Sem Males
JIRAU Agroecology Network
SOF - Semper Viva Organização Feminista
Zero Fosseis

Ecoporta.net

Source: Carta de Belém Group

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