Following the Meeting between Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Marina Silva
and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry
The Brazilian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Ms. Marina Silva, hosted, on February 28, 2023, the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, concluding a series of working meetings in Brasilia over the last two days. Both officials reiterated the strong commitment between Brazil and the United States to combat the climate crisis, end deforestation, promote sustainable development, and enable a just and inclusive energy transition.
Minister Marina Silva and Secretary Kerry committed to working together with interested partners – public, private, philanthropic and multilateral – to mobilize significant support for ambitious climate and forest action with discussions taking place in the next 60 days around specific strategies and goals both bilaterally and in major political and economic forums.
This meeting followed President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s official visit with President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Washington, D.C. on February 10. During the February 28 meeting held at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Minister Silva and Secretary Kerry pledged to work together to achieve ambitious results in tackling the global climate crisis, including under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Agreement, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and through initiatives such as the Global Methane Pledge. In this dialogue, priority was given to the high-level U.S.-Brazil Climate Change Working Group as well as financial mechanisms to combat deforestation, and in particular, the Amazon Fund.
Based on the long-standing strategic partnership between the United States and Brazil, Secretary Kerry and Minister Silva reiterated the need for the responses to the climate crisis to be robust and science-based, placing the world on a pathway to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis while, at the same time, bolstering economic opportunities for the populations of each country. The two officials expressed their resolve to work vigorously to keep within reach the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C.
Parameters and priorities for action by the high-level U.S.-Brazil Climate Change Working Group (CCWG)
Minister Marina Silva and Secretary Kerry affirmed the intention to strengthen and improve the CCWG, created in 2015, aiming to resume its activities as soon as possible, in coordination with other relevant ministries.
Reinforcing the interests expressed by Presidents Lula and Biden on cooperation in the CCWG, the theme of a just transition that supports workers and communities impacted by the decarbonization of the economy will be factored into the work to be developed. In this vein, Brazil and the United States expressed their determination to fight hunger, poverty, and inequality, promoting the achievement of national sustainable development goals and the fulfillment of commitments under multilateral environmental agreements.
Several areas of common interest were prioritized during this initial dialogue including: deforestation; ecosystem conversion; environmental degradation; bioeconomy; adaptation actions; and information, data and knowledge exchange about risks, vulnerabilities, and opportunities associated with climate change.
Given these areas of common interest and considering the initial topics for the CCWG announced by Presidents Lula and Biden, Minister Silva and Secretary Kerry identified common topics of work under the CCWG, in coordination with other ministries, such as: i) deforestation, forest degradation and restoration; ii) bioeconomy; iii) high integrity carbon markets; iv) adaptation; v) low-carbon agricultural practices, vi) the energy transition, and vii) oceans and coastal zones; . Additional topics such as transportation, green industry, climate and health links will be the subject of discussion with other ministries and may also be included in work plans.
The United States will collaborate with Brazil on its efforts to halt deforestation, forest degradation, and restore forests and other ecosystems. The two officials highlighted the opportunities for job creation and economic growth presented by the bioeconomy. They also reinforced the interest in promoting the exchange of knowledge, best practices, and technologies for the traceability of agricultural and forestry products, aimed at promoting sustainable supply chains free of illegal deforestation. Both officials are committed to eliminating deforestation driven by agricultural commodity production and exports, and expanding markets for sustainably-produced products. They further stressed the importance of valuing the experience of indigenous peoples and other traditional communities in strategies and programs.
Bilateral Financial Cooperation
Minister Silva and Secretary Kerry reiterated their intention to work together to mobilize robust and sustained finance to tackle climate change through a diversity of sources and approaches, including results-based payments and jurisdictional carbon markets. They recognized the crucial role that the Amazon Fund plays in supporting Brazil’s efforts to end deforestation and that the Amazon Fund is viewed as a robust, transparent payment-for-results mechanism, with solid governance and technical-scientific rigor.
Secretary Kerry reiterated the United States’ intent to provide funds for programs to protect and conserve the Brazilian Amazon, including initial support for the Amazon Fund as a component of the bilateral partnership, and to mobilize additional support from the international community for this important initiative.
The Ministry of Environment, in turn, pointed out the main results and recommendations of the first meeting of the Steering Committee of the Amazon Fund (COFA) in 2023, as well as the priorities and strategies of the Brazilian government to act in preventing and combating deforestation, promoting the strengthening of ongoing actions for sustainable development in the Amazon region including urgent support for indigenous populations and the fight against illegal activities.
Both officials are committed to working together to mobilize public and private funding, promoting contacts with potential partners including the multilateral and philanthropic sectors. Minister Marina Silva and Secretary Kerry committed to promoting the exchange of technical and scientific knowledge on mitigation and adaptation as well as on the implementation of robust climate action.