BRASILIA – The Brazilian government plans to invest 200 million reais ($113 million) next year to combat climate change and mitigate the effects of global warming, the Environment Ministry said on Thursday.
The ministry’s secretary for climate change and environmental quality, Branca Americano, said the recently created National Fund on Climate Change will be financed with a portion of a special participation tax on gross revenues from oil production.
Americano, who is participating in the 2nd International Conference on Climate, Sustainability and Sustainable Development in Semi-arid Regions in the northeastern city of Fortaleza, noted that the law that governs the oil industry and which also covers the environmental impact of crude production was modified to provide those revenues to the fund.
The fund was created at the end of 2009 to mitigate the environmental impact of oil production and to allocate a portion of the state’s revenue from oil to efforts to combat climate change.
According to initial estimates, up to 1 billion reais ($567 million) of the fund’s resources could be invested annually to rehabilitate the country’s most vulnerable zones, such as semi-arid and coastal areas of Brazil.
Americano said Brazil must use its natural potential to reduce the environmental impact on its territory, above all in the impoverished northeastern region.
Climate change will cause “rains to become more concentrated (in heavy downpours); there could be bad moments for plantations and the years will be drier and drier,” she said.
Small rural producers will be most severely affected by the climatic changes and for that reason the law setting up the fund provides for the creation of economic programs “that adapt to the new reality.”
The fund also will promote sustainable activities such as the REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) system, which encourages business leaders to compensate for their carbon emissions by reforesting degraded areas.
In collaboration with Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuaria, a state-owned company that is dedicated to agricultural research, the fund will develop programs to promote environmentally friendly agricultural practices that reduce emissions and conserve land. EFE