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COVERAGE OF COP26

23/11/2021

Mercosur joins forces against global warming

This is the first time the four countries that are part of the group join efforts in the search for common and effective solutions to the problem of climate change

One of the legacies of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is the rearticulation of the Mercosur countries around the environmental agenda.

This movement signals to the market that good practices in sustainability will count a lot for the success of the business. The cooperatives interested in exporting should be well aware of this new moment, since Mercosur is still hoping to close a free trade agreement with the European Union, and having environmental commitments is a key element in this negotiation.

Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay are effective members of the Mercosur.
Until COP26, Paraguay articulated itself around the debate on environment through the Independent Association of Latin America and the Caribbean (Ailac). From now on, it will also be part of the efforts led by Mercosur to discuss the issue at the international level.

The announcement of the new negotiating group on climate change of Mercosur was made on November 11th, during the meeting of environment ministers in Glasgow, Scotland.
In an official statement, the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted that “this is the first time that the four Mercosur members join efforts in the search for common and effective solutions to the problem of climate change”.

One of the main challenges for the countries that make up the bloc will be to jointly monitor the transfers promised by developed countries to combat the effects of climate change in the poorest or developing countries.

The activation of the carbon credit market is at the top of the agenda’s priorities. Brazil led the negotiations that resulted in the approval of the proposal to create a global carbon market. The country can become a major exporter of credits. For this to happen, the preservation of the native forest and the change in the energy grid are fundamental.

Research indicates that, by 2030, carbon credit transactions could be worth US$ 167 billion a year.

GREEN ECONOMY

The Brazilian Minister of the Environment, Joaquim Leite, believes that Mercosur has taken a huge and important step towards the green economy.

“This is fantastic for Brazil, for Latin America, for those who have native forests. A huge challenge, mainly because of the resistance of the biggest polluters in relation to the resources for the adaptation fund, which almost stopped the negotiations. But Brazil will be a giant exporter in this new green economy, it’s a unique opportunity”, Leite highlighted.

Civil society organizations that participated in COP26 have also settled an articulation with Latin American countries. During the debates, the Afro-Inter-American Climate Change Forum was created, an articulation of black organizations from more than 10 Latin American and Caribbean countries.

They defend the development of actions and public policies capable of promoting climate justice and racial justice. “Taking care of the planet inevitably involves eradicating racism, valuing cultures and promoting life with dignity,” argues activist Sylvia Siqueira, director of the organization Nuestra America Verde.

Cooperatives of Mercosur

Twenty years ago, on October 17th 2001, the Specialized Meeting of Co-operatives of Mercosur, RECM, was created. The body, which is part of Mercosur’s formal structure, has the objective of integrating and promoting inter-cooperation among the cooperatives of the four Southern Cone countries.

This regional structure includes the governmental bodies for the promotion of cooperatives in each of the countries, and the representative organizations of the cooperatives.  OCB was a founding member of the RECM and has supported the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply in the dialogue with the other members of the RECM.

In celebration of its 20 years of foundation, the members of RECM, under the rotating presidency of Brazil, are discussing a new strategic plan.  Supported by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the strategic planning is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The established goals are audacious: to encourage women’s participation in the decision making spaces of the Mercosur cooperatives, to foster business and inter-cooperation, and to support cooperatives in the development of sustainable businesses and the reduction of their greenhouse gas emissions.