Brazil Launches Greenhouse Gas Program, Sixteen Companies Agree to Monitor Emissions

During an act in Brasilia yesterday, the local government announced the country's Greenhouse Gas Protocol Program: a voluntary registry of corporate GHG emissions in which participants will log their annual inventories and will receive training on GHG accounting and management (similar to The Climate Registry in North America).

In the founding ceremony, sixteen major corporations agreed to report their emissions: Alcoa (aluminum), Anglo American (minerals production), Arcelor Mittal (steel), Banco do Brasil (bank), Bradesco (bank), CNEC (engineering), Copel (energy), Ford (automotive), Grupo Abril (print media), Natura (cosmetics), Nova Petroquímica (petrochemicals), O Boticário (cosmetics), Petrobras (oil), Sadia (food), Votorantim (manufacturing), and Wal-Mart Brasil (retail).

With this agreement, Brazil takes the lead one more time in environmental monitoring and action in South America. It's fair to note that because of its size, the country's GHG emissions are the highest of all Latin America by far: according to figures by the World Resources Institute (WRI), Brazil is the 8th largest emitter of GHG in the world. In the 25 highest emitting countries, the next Latin American is Mexico, but only comes in 14th place. Keep reading for more.

Via Press Release.According to a release by the WRI, "Brazil GHG Protocol is the first program of its kind in South America, but it’s one of many similar programs that are being developed to corporations to measure their emissions using a consistent, nationally uniform standard."

"The program provides options for sound measurement and allows members to take action to reduce their GHG emissions," said Thelma Krug, secretary of climate change, Brazil Environment Ministry, at the launch event here in the IBAMA Auditorium according to the press release.

"Greenhouse gases are a business issue," said Artur Grynbaum, CEO of O Boticario. "In the context of ongoing international climate negotiations, we need specific approaches for different sectors to measure and verify emissions."

The program will use the GHG Protocol, which was created by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and is considered the global standard for accounting of GHG emissions.

Partners in the Brazil GHG Protocol Program also include the Brazilian Environment Ministry, the Brazilian Council for Sustainable Development, and Fundação Getúlio Vargas. Funding for the program is provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the British Embassy.

Last year, the Working Group II (WGII) Contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report informed the possible threats Latin America could face if global warming continues to grow.

"By mid-century, increases in temperature and associated decreases in soil water are projected to lead to gradual replacement of tropical forest by savanna in eastern Amazon. In drier areas, climate change is expected to lead to salinisation and desertification of agricultural land causing productivity of some important crops to decrease and livestock productivity to decline, with adverse consequences for food security," said the report.

"With this new program, Brazil's government and business community are building the foundation for GHG management. You can't manage what you don't measure," said Manish Bapna, executive vice president of WRI in the same release.

Picture: Britain ambassador Peter Collecot, Brazil's environmental minister Marina Silva, CEBDS president Fernando Almeida, and World Resources Institute vice-president Manish Bapna, at the Brazil Greenhouse Gas Protocol Program launch. Credit: Brazilian press agency.
Sources:
::Press release: Brazilian Companies Announce Global Warming Game Plan
::Brazil Launches Its GHG Protocol Program
::IPCC on Latin America: Land Drought and Coastlines Floodings are on the Menu
Links:
::Brazil Environmental Ministry
::WRI
::WBCSD
::Greenhouse protocol
Other articles on Brazilian corporate responsibility and governmental policies:
::Corporate Environmental Responsibility Grows in Brazil
::The 20 Most Responsible Brazilian Companies
::New and Empowered Environmental Front in Brazilian Congress
::Amazon: Brazil Considers Extending Permits to Enter the Jungle
::Brazilian Banks, Forbidden to Give Loans to Illegal Loggers

Tags: Brazil | Carbon Emissions | Corporate Responsibility | Pollution

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