COOPERATING WITH THE FUTURE
Open letter from the Brazilian cooperative movement to COP27
Friends of all nations, our planet needs more cooperation!
Only by uniting the efforts of all countries we will be able to stop the advance of global warming through a low-carbon economy.
We know, as cooperators, that it is perfectly possible to combine productivity and development with sustainability, prosperity, and social responsibility. After all, every cooperative – regardless of size, industry, or country – is born with the commitment to care for the community where it operates, which can only be done with social justice, environmental balance and economic viability.
In this open letter to society, we share the vision and position of the Brazilian cooperative movement regarding the main COP27 agendas. Our goal is to contribute to the debates that are being held in Brazil and in the world about global warming and the plans for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for the coming years.
We believe that this is a joint effort and that we should cooperate with the construction of public policies capable of promoting the necessary increase in Brazilian productivity, without, however, giving up sustainability and environmental preservation. We believe Brazil has a call to be a protagonist in the construction of a low carbon economy.
CHECK OUT THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF BRAZILIAN COOPERATIVES FOR COP27:
1) We are concerned about global warming and support regulation of the carbon market. The past decade was the warmest ever recorded in human history. In this context, it is essential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. An intelligent way to do this is to regulate the international carbon market – based on the commercialization of carbon credits by different countries and sectors of the economy. Thus, we value low emission and carbon capture models, with investments and efforts in favor of the preservation, conservation, and recovery of the environment.
We believe it is necessary to create a regulatory environment favorable to this market, which enables easy access to national and international resources for environmental projects located in public areas or on private properties, such as Permanent Preservation Areas (APP), Legal Reserves (RL), and Private Natural Heritage Reserves (RPPN).
2) We believe that only through the protagonism of people we will be able to accomplish the energy transition necessary for carbon neutrality on a global scale. To do this, we need to look more deeply into green energy opportunities that go beyond hydrogen. We have to find solutions that take the aptitude of the different locations in the production and consumption of renewable energies. In Brazil, the solution goes, surely, through a diversity of sources, where bioenergy has already shown its value and is responsible for part of our protagonism in the energy transition theme. This was only achieved with local development and people’s activism. Therefore, we need international support to further develop these arrangements, in Brazil and in the world. We must take advantage of our strengths and make conscious and renewable use of our resources.
3) We are in favor of an inflexible and in-depth fighting against illegal deforestation in the Amazon and the other Brazilian biomes. We know that deforestation increases the risk of exposure of humans and other species to the effects of global warming. Thus, it is necessary to recognize that command and control measures against illegal deforestation are essential and imperative. We also count on the support of all nations to achieve this goal more efficiently.
To prevent illegal deforestation in the Amazon and other Brazilian biomes we support the full and prompt application of current environmental and land legislation, especially the new Brazilian Forest Code (Law 12.651/2012) – a regulation that has advanced in making increased productivity in the field compatible with environmental preservation. It is worth mentioning: Brazilian cooperatives actively participated and played an important role in the construction and approval of the new Forest Code. As a result, today Brazilian producers must respect native forests preservation zones that vary from 20% to 80% of their land, depending on the biome. This is a fundamental milestone for environmental preservation in Brazil and should be seen as an example for all nations.
We know that we still have duties and commitments to be assumed and fulfilled, but Brazil must also demand effective recognition for the positive actions it has been developing to protect the environment. We have excellent examples of sustainability throughout the country, and we believe that they should count on national and international economic support instruments to develop further.
4) We advocate the regulation and application of laws that encourage the adoption of measures to protect and preserve the environment. The National Policy for Payment for Environmental Services is an example of what stablishes an incentive – monetary or otherwise – for rural producers who adopt effective measures to protect and promote the quality of the environment. This remuneration depends on the verification and proof of the implemented actions. We also believe that the issue of green bonds can collaborate decisively to increase the interest of people and institutions in sustainable projects.
5) We believe in the importance of the Brazilian food production for ending hunger and provide food security in the world. According to the United Nations, with the exponential growth of the global population, it has become essential to expand food production, in order to fight against hunger and seek food security in the world. The Brazilian production, especially through the agricultural cooperatives, has a fundamental role in this process, with significant presence in world trade of coffee, soy, corn, cotton, beef, chicken, pork, sugar, orange juice and cellulose, among other commodities.
Ending hunger, providing access to safe and nutritious food, and food security and availability are the guiding pillars of our movement. Aiming at the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) established by the UN, we believe it is necessary to promote public policies for free international trade. We also advocate a global fund aimed at promoting zero hunger, which goes beyond geographical and political barriers in conflict zones, especially for the most vulnerable populations.
6) We call for public policies to promote the cooperative movement as a sustainable organization of the production. Cooperatives are a sustainable, environmentally responsible, and socially just economic model, capable of providing productive inclusion, competitive differentiation, income generation, and regional and local development. Precisely because of this, it actively collaborates to bring Brazil closer to meeting the goals set by the Paris Agreement (COP21).
We are a modern business model, with well-defined management and governance structures. Cooperatives gather millions of people both in the countryside and in the urban areas. We are making Brazil grow through collective entrepreneurship and the shared economy. We are a tool for small and medium-sized rural producers to reach domestic and international markets that they could not reach alone. We are sources of work and income, so that professionals from various segments, such as education, health, and transportation, can offer services in an organized way, achieving more competitiveness in the market. We bring together people who share their savings and, as a result, can access credit and other financial services under better conditions. We are the only alternative way to access services of public interest in many cities and communities around the world.
To continue to grow and collaborate with the sustainability of the country, we need adequate promotion policies, as well as incentive programs for business models that value the green economy, such as the cooperative movement and other forms of association.
The Brazilian cooperatives take this opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to work for the construction of a better, fairer and more sustainable future for this and future generations. We are aware of the many challenges we will face in the coming years, and we see in them the opportunity to build a better world, guided by the spirit of cooperation.
Brasília, November 7th, 2022