November 16, 2022 reacts to Lula’s COP27 speech: “Plans for the Amazon are very promising, but need to include a just energy transition”

Brazil – In one of the most anticipated moments of COP27, the UN climate conference, the president-elect of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, presented this Wednesday (Nov 16) measures and guidelines for the conservation of the Amazon forest, the development of that region and the protection of the rights of Indigenous and traditional peoples in the country.

In response to President-elect Lula’s speech, the director of for Latin America, the Brazilian activist Ilan Zugman, stated:

“The announced measures and guidelines are essential and put Brazil back in the direction of becoming a global leader in combating the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity. However, the president-elect also needs to make more concrete announcements for the energy transition in the country. For example, if the the current plans of the Brazilian oil-major Petrobras move forward, Brazil will become, in the coming years, the fourth-largest oil producer in the world, which goes completely against what the world needs and what Brazil is proposing as climate leadership”.

“Evidently, this was just a first speech about the reconstruction that Brazil needs to undertake in the socio-environmental field, and the new government hasn’t even started. We believe that Lula has all the conditions in his hand to also announce concrete measures for a just energy transition in the country, at a time when the world is celebrating the return of Brazil’s leadership in the environmental scenario”.

What Lula’s government can do for a just energy transition in Brazil

Some of the measures that suggests as priorities for the energy transition in Brazil are:

  • A national plan for a just energy transition that is discussed with society and announced in a transparent manner, with clear goals and information on its funding sources.
  • Implementation of mechanisms that guarantee free, prior and informed consultation with Indigenous and traditional peoples in situations where potential new energy projects affect their territories.
  • The expansion of credit lines to finance the expansion of renewable energy infrastructure, on the scale necessary to ensure an accelerated expansion of solar and wind power, especially in the decentralized generation modalities.
  • Measures to combat energy waste and increase efficiency in electricity consumption in homes, businesses and industries, as well as in the distribution of energy between generating sources and consumption sites.
  • The end of new oil, gas and coal undertakings across the country, with emphasis on the Amazon, which needs to be declared a territory free of fossil fuel extractions.
  • Care measures for workers in the fossil fuel sector, who are entitled to financial support, training and assistance in professional relocation, as the use of oil, gas and coal in the country decreases.
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