While Brazilian diplomats are in Bonn, Germany, defending the rapid implementation of the Paris Agreement, at home the government of Michel Temer tries to urgently approve a Provisional Measure that puts at risk its commitments. The proposal, which is on the agenda of the National Congress to be voted any time, grants tax incentives that may exceed the R$ 1 trillion (US$ 300 bi) for companies to explore oil and gas in the country. The measure was the reason Brazil won the “Fossil of the Day” this Wednesday (15) at COP 23.
The bill was edited for the purpose of stimulating the interest of companies in the blocks offered in the last pre-salt auctions. If it success, the government will be digging its own grave in the global climate scenario. According to estimates, all known pre-salt reserves can house about 80 billion barrels of oil. The burning of all this fuel can increase even more the placement of Brazil – which now occupies the seventh place – in the ranking of the biggest villains for the climate.
“The Brazilian government should be fulfilling the commitments made under the Paris Agreement, with a complete restructuring of the energy matrix, redirecting resources to renewable energy initiatives, but instead they continue to carry out fossil auctions and giving subsidies that strengthen the most polluting sector in the world: the fossil fuel industry. This measure will not only hurt public coffers, but also increase exponentially the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, which already grew by 9% last year. This irresponsibility must be denounced and the government unmasked internationally,” said Nicole Figueiredo de Oliveira, director of 350.org Brazil and Latin America.
The countries’ current targets are still not enough to contain global warming. Even the fulfillment of all the commitments does not guarantee the maintenance of the terrestrial temperature below the 2oC. Precisely for this reason, world leaders should be thinking of increasing the ambition of their national goals, not the reverse. In the global climate battle, the oil reserves are a time bomb counting the minutes to explode.
In addition to leaving a gigantic gap in the public coffers, the Provisional Measure will make the mission of reducing emissions more difficult than it already is. “Brazil must expand its investments in renewable energy and keep oil and gas reserves on the ground. Only this radical change will bring the climate security that the world needs. It is not only matter of protecting the interests of the country, but of ensuring the future of populations, the environment and the climate of the entire planet. Continuing to follow the path that prioritizes the fossils, together with all other environmental setbacks in force, should yield to the Brazilian government the title of ‘fossil of the last years’ and not just today,” said Nicole Oliveira.
Delivered on a daily basis by the Climate Action Network (CAN) at the COP, the “award” denounces those countries that have contributed least to the progress of the negotiations, and further distancing themselves from meeting global warming targets. Countries like United States, Japan, Australia, Germany, France and Norway have already won the Fossil of the Day at this COP.
Help the Brazilians to send a message to the government: No more subsidies for oil and gas. Not a trillion, #Not1Cent!