The Brazilian Connection - Are You In?
Map of Brazil. Image credit:Lonely Planet
Last week I was in Sao Paulo, Brazil, launching the Portuguese edition of Plan B 4.0, published by Virtu Editora e Productora Ltda.
But Plan B is not just a book in Brazil. It is a plan of action. In August, Plan B was the focus of the 2020 Climate Campaign, an initiative of the State of the World Forum, which was held in Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais. Two of us from Earth Policy Institute were present: Janet Larsen our Director of Research and me.The campaign aims to activate the climate component of Plan B, with the global goal of a rapid reduction in carbon emissions by the year 2020. From the local to the national to the international, governments and other institutions are being encouraged to transcend traditional politics (where action can often be slow and incremental) to listen to what science is saying about climate change and quickly to make the changes that are needed to stabilize climate.
A number of Brazilian government, business, civil society, and media leaders have already embraced the challenge to cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2020. Brazil could well be a world leader in this effort.
Minas Gerais, the first state in Brazil to complete an accounting of its carbon footprint, was the 2020 Leadership Campaign's inaugural signatory in early August 2009. It will establish a scientific panel to begin crafting an emissions reductions plan. Other Brazilian states looking to join the campaign include Bahia, Paraná, and Santa Catarina.
Earlier this month, the Amazonian governors committed to reducing deforestation by 80 percent by 2020 and appealed to the international community to assist them in attaining this goal.
Curitiba was Brazil's first city to sign on and is planning to develop an integrated climate strategy. Rio de Janeiro will likely be next to join the campaign, which is appropriate as Rio will be the site of the 2020 Campaign's official launch in August 2010.
The slogan for the 2020 Campaign is "To dentro" ("I'm in"). The leaders who are embracing this call recognize that making the necessary adjustments to stabilize climate can bring sustainable wealth. Companies that move quickly in developing renewable energy and energy-efficient industries and buildings will have an economic advantage.
The efforts are being multiplied through the key support of Rede Globo. Globo, one of the world's largest media networks, has become a climate education pioneer. It is creating and running a series of public service ads to inform people about the escalating dangers of climate change. Globo will also distribute lesson plans and materials to some 7,000 schools across Brazil to educate students about climate and the environment. This is the first time such climate leadership has come from such a major media entity.
We're not in a crisis because we have no solution, but because we're not implementing the solutions already at hand. Those solutions are found in Plan B 4.0.
Are you "in"?