Brazil, April 2021
Dear President Joe Biden
Initially, we register our compliments and congratulations for your election victory, with the wish for much success in your management, together with vice-president Kamala Harris.
The undersigned Governors of Brazil, representing states that comprise more than 90% of the national territory, express their interest in developing partnerships and financing strategies to promote climate balance, the reduction of inequalities, environmental regeneration, the development of green economic chains, and the encouragement of the adoption of technologies to reduce emissions from traditional economic activities in the Americas, as well as a joint effort to build a healthier and more pandemic-resilient society.
The Governors for Climate coalition, broad and diverse, involving progressives, moderates and conservatives, from both the opposition and the incumbent, signals Brazil’s desire for unity and collaborative construction of solutions in defense of humanity and all species of life that are threatened by the degradation of ecosystems.
Aware of the global climate emergency, the Brazilian subnational signatory governments are aware of their responsibility to reduce greenhouse gases, promote renewable energy, combat deforestation, comply with the Forestry Code to conserve forests and native vegetation, improve the efficiency of agriculture and cattle-raising, protect the welfare of indigenous peoples and other traditional communities, and seek ways to enable massive reforestation, integrated with regional socio-bio-productive systems. At the same time, concrete solutions are sought to overcome poverty, still prevalent on our continent, especially in forest areas. These are actions that, in addition to carbon removal, biodiversity protection, and poverty reduction, can prevent future pandemics.
Aiming to move forward with a systemic vision, the Governors for Climate alliance is structuring interconnected climate, social, and economic policies as a basis for sustainable development, and has been building exchanges with US Governors, Latin American leaders, and governments from Europe and the United Kingdom, home of COP26, where we wish to present innovations and high-impact partnerships that consider the protagonism of local agendas and their singularities, to achieve sustainable development in the broadest way and with the greatest possible positive impact on people’s lives.
Celebrating your government’s decision to strengthen the international environmental agenda and the Paris Agreement, we express our intention to implement joint actions, proposing cooperation between the United States and Brazilian state governments, responsible for most of the Amazon Rainforest, the world’s largest tropical forest, and other biomes that together harbor the most extensive biodiversity ever recorded and are capable of regulating water and carbon cycles on a planetary scale. On the other hand, historically, these are the areas that concentrate the most poverty and lack of access to basic public policies in our country. Uniting, therefore, a robust agenda of environmental conservation, productive recovery of degraded areas, and protection of endangered biomes, with a focus on reducing social inequalities, is urgent for this new scenario.
For the global temperature not to exceed 1.5°C by the end of the century, mankind needs to reforest an area the size of the United States. In this challenge, Brazil can extend the Earth’s green not only in the Amazon, but also in biomes with great capacity for carbon capture, invaluable biodiversity, and socioeconomic relevance, such as the Cerrado, Atlantic Forest, Caatinga, Pampa, and the Pantanal, which lost large areas to fires in 2020. However, to do this, at the same time as we move towards a new economy capable of promoting the effective wellbeing of traditional communities, is the great challenge if the goal of reducing emissions is not to place an even greater burden on the poorest countries.
Our partnership can quickly add technical capacity, large regenerable land areas, and local governance, with the immense investment capacity of the U.S. economy, connecting public policy, scientific knowledge, innovative tools, and entrepreneurial initiatives. Our states have funds and mechanisms created specially to respond to the climate emergency, available for safe and transparent application of international resources, ensuring quick and verifiable results.
Thus, it is possible to enable decentralized actions, in multiple points of the Brazilian territory, enabling the protection of native biomes, the restoration of degraded areas, the inclusion of local communities with planned training and the generation of many jobs, and the incorporation of companies, in several low emission economic chains, integrating the economies of Brazil and the USA, in the axes of bioenergy, low carbon agriculture, renewable energies, and bioeconomy of standing and managed forests, using modern technologies to add value to forest products, promoting sustainable international trade practices.
Together, we can nimbly constitute the largest decarbonization economy on the planet, creating benchmarks to drive the transition of the world economy to a carbon-neutral model, guiding a post-pandemic green recovery. Brazilian states have enormous capacities to contribute to the capture of global emissions by increasing the ambition of the national NDC, reducing poverty, developing new economic arrangements, and strengthening indigenous communities.
Certain of the high level of convergence of interests and wishing healthy times for our peoples, we remain open to establish an interaction channel with your government to advance in practical steps.
The terrible current pandemic, added to the climate urgency, demand immediate actions to avoid new diseases on a planetary scale, having as a principle the union of nations, knowledge, capacities and, above all, solidarities and dreams that raise us to a new level of collective wisdom. Joining forces immediately for vaccination is the highest priority.
We believe that it is possible to start a new cycle of society here, making our continent more just, sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous, for current and future generations. There is much to repair, restore, heal and build, and there is also much to invent for the achievement of a healthy and secure future.