The Executive Report CBC 2021/2022 is now available in English.
Make sure to read the letter from our CEO, Guilherme Syrkis, and download the full report at the end:
Letter from The CEO
During COP26, in 2021, I had the privilege and the honor to take part in a climate debate with engaged young people from several countries and former U.S. President, Barack Obama. After the event, when cameras were already off, Obama made a comment that deeply surprised me. He asked if we felt a certain existential crisis over the actual impact of what we are doing. The former President shared his experience and said he felt the same way, particularly after he reached the pinnacle of his political career at such a young age. Obama emphasized that it’s perfectly normal to feel that way, and encouraged us to stand strong and with an open heart for always learning and marching with determination.
In addition to the difficulties presented by uncertainty, political instability and difficulty perceiving the real impacts of our actions, the CBC management employed major efforts in bringing the spotlight over the climate agenda during the 2022 elections. Overall 54 candidates running for governor on all Brazilian states received our proposals. In addition, we work in partnership with governors in order to strengthen climate politics in states, including the creation of the Bioeconomy and Climate Financing Plan in the State of Pará, with active participation from local communities. Many ideas that were born from strategic and paradiplomatic meetings became full-blown initiatives entirely spearheaded by the states and their respective governors, such as the creation of consortiums, state funds and green seals, among other results shown in the next pages of this report.
Although the CBC staff is small, we understand that nobody works alone in the tertiary sector, and thus we grew. We acknowledge that we can only progress on the climate agenda if we have a collaborative spirit, supporting projects from other partner institutions and understanding our role as facilitators and articulators. We were greatly successful with the strategy of the Governors for Climate movement, which became even clearer to me when I read an excerpt from the book Banzeiro òkòtó: a trip Amazonia, Center of the World. Author Eliane Brum explains that “the best thing that can happen to an idea is for it to be incorporated by different key players to the point that those who started the journey are overcome – which is obviously different than being erased. It’s the best way for movements not to have an owner, although it can mean that your thoughts are converted into something else, for better or worse. But this is the way of movement for all people”. All this makes us understand that our clear support and collaboration strategy with other institutions must continue, because only together and united we are able to advance the Brazilian climate agenda.
2022 was marked by important CBC initiatives regarding baseline work. One of those was the largest training module ever performed by the Climate Reality Project, founded by Al Gore, that qualified over 3 thousand Brazilian climate leaders, in a course fully help in Portuguese. In addition, the climate justice project of the Letters of Climate Law began in the Favelas da Maré Complex, in Rio de Janeiro. The Faz Junto Program has progressed in projects supporting the production of green hydrogen and environmental recovery at the São Francisco water basin, and the works of the Fernando de Noronha Laboratory already started, that will become an innovation hub in zero carbon technologies and business models. More details on the initiatives are presented below in this report.
In organizational terms, CBC’s governance is further strengthened in the second year of management of the new council and board. We started an intense process of developing a logic of programs, which clearly defined the areas of advocacy, studies, training and the execution of innovative projects in partnership with other institutions. It is also important to highlight that we seek to train our leaders and managers by participating in courses and training offered by Fundação Dom Cabral.
In addition, we strengthened our organizational culture regarding social inclusion and diversity policy, including the racial, sexual and generational axis, with the help of specialized consulting and giving autonomy to the team to develop the strategy. Finally, we defined a clear strategy for the CBC focusing on four major themes in 2023, from a new political context.
The first is Climate Governance, in which we seek to align the new federal government’s strategy to strengthen state governments and facilitate the search for climate finance and the implementation of structural projects. We will continue to work inside the Federal Senate, supporting the Environment Commission and perhaps contributing to the return of the extinct Joint Commission on Climate Change.
The second is the Energy Transition, in which we will work closely with the Climate Reality Project International on the strategy of vigorously debating oil and gas exploration for COP28, in the United Arab Emirates, at the end of 2023. We will work to provide Petrobras and other companies with a clear view regarding the energy transition and modernize themselves in light of the prospect of an accelerated transformation in the oil and gas sector for offshore wind and other sources.
The third is Climate Justice, with strengthening the work of small but powerful local NGOs that are unable to hold conversations with governments and that can have their work enhanced by us, mainly in climate adaptation and biodiversity.
Finally, we intensified works with the banner of Climate Education in Brazil, seeking to pass laws for making the topic mandatory on school menus. The Centro Brasil no Clima has matured internally and, in a new political context, we will have incredible opportunities to accelerate the necessary changes to advance the climate agenda. As my late father would say, in a quote from author Fernando Pessoa, “everything is worth it when the soul is not small”. We will continue moving forward with determination, even if uncertainties arise at times about the real impact of our work, keeping a light learner’s heart. Our commitment is to work tirelessly on the most worrying issue of our generation.
Guilherme Syrkis, CEO of Centro Brasil no Clima.