World Resources Institute WRI

Brazilian companies announce global warming game plan


Source: World Resources Institute WRI

The Brazil Greenhouse Gas Protocol Program was launched on Tuesday and its 12 founding corporate members have voluntarily agreed to report their global-warming emissions. “The program provides options for sound measurement and allows members to take action to reduce their GHG emissions,” said Thelma Krug, secretary of climate change, Brazil Environment Ministry, at the launch event here in the IBAMA Auditorium.

Founding members of the Brazil GHG Protocol Program include: Alcoa, Anglo American, Arcelor Mittal, Banco do Brasil, Bradesco, CNEC, Copel, Ford, Grupo Abril, Natura, Nova Petroquímica, O Boticário, Petrobras, Sadia, Votorantim, and Wal-Mart Brasil.

The Brazil GHG Protocol Program will serve as a voluntary registry - with the information available to the public online - of corporate GHG emissions, similar to The Climate Registry in North America. Corporate participants will log their annual inventories of global-warming emissions based on the standardized framework of the GHG Protocol, and will receive training on international best practices in GHG accounting and management.

Brazil’s GHG emissions are the fifth highest in the world, and the carbon intensity of its economy grew 17 percent from 1990 to 2002. As a developing country, Brazil has no GHG reduction obligation under the Kyoto Protocol international climate treaty, and corporate GHG reporting is voluntary in Brazil. Nonetheless, some companies choose to inventory their GHG emissions in order to identify potential efficiency improvements or participate in the international carbon market.

“Greenhouse gases are a business issue,” said Artur Grynbaum, CEO of O Boticario, a major cosmetics company based in Brazil. “In the context of ongoing international climate negotiations, we need specific approaches for different sectors to measure and verify emissions.”

The program will use the GHG Protocol, which was created by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and is considered the global standard for accounting of GHG emissions by governments, businesses, and other organizations.

“With this new program, Brazil’s government and business community are building the foundation for GHG management. You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” said Manish Bapna, executive vice president of WRI.

Björn Stigson, president of the WBCSD, added, “Providing business with internationally recognized tools to enable the effective management of their greenhouse gas emissions is a necessary step towards managing and reducing global emissions.”

In a report released last month, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that, “by mid-century, increases in temperature and associated decreases in soil water are projected to lead to gradual replacement of tropical forest by savanna in eastern Amazonia.” The IPCC also warning that crop productivity in Brazil “is projected to decrease for even small local temperature increases” in tropical areas, “which would increase risk of hunger.”

Along with WRI and WBCSD, partners in the Brazil GHG Protocol Program include the Brazilian Environment Ministry, the Brazilian Council for Sustainable Development, and Fundação Getúlio Vargas. Funding for the program is provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the British Embassy.

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