The good surprises at COP26

The COP26, the Climate Summit that took place in Glasgow, caused a stir. That’s the first good news. But it is not the only one. At the climate conference of huge consequence for our lives, nature and the elimination of deforestation finally gained relevance. And in addition to the active and increasingly inclusive participation of civil society, the engagement of the private sector has brought certainty that the time for collective climate action has arrived.

For Brazil, given the absence honest and committed government participation, this news is even more important. The Declaration on Forests and the Global Commitment to Financing Forests seal the understanding of the centrality of forest conservation and the protection of indigenous, traditional and rural communities for governments and companies. The first steps deserve applause, but only lead to climate security if they are accompanied by metrics to measure whether the promises come out of the paper.

For investors, banks and companies that were in Glasgow, it was clear that limiting the increase in the planet’s temperature to 1.5ºC means protecting the Amazon Forest and other threatened biomes around the world. This finding, even if late, comes at a very good time. We know that a significant part of deforestation in the legal Amazon violates Brazilian laws and creates a real economy of crime in the region. Few groups benefit from an outdated and dangerous view, to the detriment of the well-being and safety of all.

And we can and must do differently. I personally participated, during the COP26, in the launch of An Agenda for the Development of the Amazon, in the Concert for the Amazon, which brings an economic vision focused on the fair distribution of the wealth that the standing forest can generate . I was also able to share that the evidence demonstrates the importance of three dimensions in the operations of forest commodity supply chains: transparency, traceability and compliance with the law.

And, even if a company works to make its practices more sustainable internal, it is necessary to go further and know the entire supply chain, ensuring the legal origin of raw materials and products, including direct and indirect suppliers. Companies operating in the Amazon and other biomes must follow criteria and report environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics, so that investors and consumers can assess the environmental cost and risks associated with each product or food.

We want to contribute to making this possible in practice, with the concreteness and urgency that this issue demands. And to support companies and investors in meeting the global goal of zero deforestation and more responsible business practices, the Igarapé Institute launched an initiative that proposes new approaches to analytical and metric dimensions — which combine what for some is already consolidated compliance practice , with standards of good practice still to be adopted by the majority.

We will continue working so that governments fulfill their constitutional function of preventing the devastation of the immense wealth that is the Amazon. Whether through the strengthening of command and control and incentive and induction policies in the region, or by providing public security for the Amazonians —especially for those who are threatened, on the front line of forest defense.

And because we are certain that the private and financial sectors wish to honor their environmental commitments, we also join the discussion and action to ensure the transition to sustainable models of production and investment. Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come: all together for climate security and justice.

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