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The scientific community, represented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has been warning for decades about the risks associated with global warming, whose serious natural, social, and economic consequences are already evident. The seriousness and complexity of climate change risks demand that governments, the business sector, and civil society anticipate the predicted impacts, whose costs will be considerably greater and more frequent than those of the current pandemic.

The socio-economic effects of the current health crisis are and will be severe, pushing back levels of poverty, deepening inequalities, and exposing even more the vulnerable portion of the population to all kinds of bad weather. Overcoming this crisis requires strategic convergence of efforts, in order to enable a sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous future for current and future generations.

The urgent economic recovery must be driven by integrated processes that can simultaneously regenerate ecosystems, strengthen companies, and generate millions of jobs, taking advantage of investment opportunities in renewable energy, reforestation, sanitation, recycling, bioeconomy, as well as in technological and productive process innovations, with more efficient use of public and private resources.

In addition to the socio-economic urgencies caused by the pandemic, a considerable part of the challenges related to prevention and adaptation to climate impacts fall on the states. Implementing preventive and constructive plans is the smartest and least expensive way to act.

Therefore, articulated and propositional actions, integrating the Brazilian subnational governments, are urgent to achieve these objectives and the goals of Brazil’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), established in the Paris Agreement. Such advances will only be achieved by firmly combating deforestation and illegal burning, promoting clean energy, reducing the burning of fossil fuels, increasing the use of biofuels, electrifying mobility, and encouraging low-carbon agriculture.

Considering such urgencies and opportunities, the Brazilian governors who sign this letter institute the Governors for Climate alliance, in line with other similar initiatives in the various continents. We will be a cross-party coalition, aggregating ideas, forces, and knowledge to face this existential threat. With a commitment to continued action, the signatory Governors will appoint executive representatives to consolidate the institutionality of the alliance and build a national and international strategic agenda.

Reiterating the Paris Agreement, we will be actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to keep warming well below 2oC and to accelerate the transition to a clean and inclusive economy that will benefit our security, prosperity and health.

Brazil, October 2020.