CBC coordinators assess the outlook for the second half of 2020
The world is focused on the elections in the United States, scheduled for November this year, and the expectation is to know whether the command of the greatest world power should remain in the hands of the Republicans or will pass to the Democrats. Donald Trump's explicit opposition to the Paris Agreement - which initiated a withdrawal process in June 2017, but which for legal reasons will only come into force on November 4 this year - has given space for other countries and leaders around the world to reinforce climate denialism. The exit comes at a crucial point, as the Paris Agreement requires countries to move forward, this year, with new commitments strengthened to reduce emissions, raising their initial targets proposed in 2015.
CBC project coordinator Marília Closs says that the United States elections are important for Brazil not only because of the economic relationship, but mainly because of the political relationship, since the Bolsonaro government builds its political-ideological perspective based on a alleged alignment and in a partnership between Brazil and the United States of Trump. According to her, the defeat of the “Trumpist” political project, which involves climate negationism, would also be a defeat for Jair Bolsonaro's political project.
“Brazil's foreign policy today is closely linked to the alliance with the United States. We have reached a degree of subservience to American politics never before seen in Brazilian foreign policy, and, from the moment that it collapses, if Joe Biden manages to be effectively elected, it is a great impact for the Bolsonarist base. The impression I have is that the construction of the progressive field in the United States is looking more at the climate agenda and the environmental agenda ”.
The climate agenda has been gaining greater prominence in the political-economic sphere, and within it the Green New Deal plan has been widely discussed, seen as a strategy for post-pandemic green reconstruction. Even denying science, the US government has spent more than 350 billion dollars - about 1.14 trillion reais - in response to the climatic effects that the United States already suffers, such as floods or fires, according to a report by the American Comptroller General (GAO).
For the CBC project coordinator, Guilherme Lima, the Green New Deal was much debated because, in times of crisis and uncertainty, where private sector investments retract in order to generate an increase in unemployment, among other effects, it is in short importance for the government to act as a guide for this recovery. “I think it is important to have government involvement, and that is where the idea of the Green New Deal comes in. Since there will be government action, it cannot be simply to reactivate the economy as it was before. If this action is necessary, let it be in a way that promotes activities that are less carbon-intensive, less intensive in the use of natural resources, that generate sustainable jobs and well-being for the population ”.
Even with the increasingly intense debate about the green recovery and the future of the world economic scenario, Marília Closs considers that this economic recovery is a reality in Europe, due to its construction of debates making possible a concrete proposal, with a pattern of economic policies already established; but when one thinks of a Green New Deal for Latin American reality, it is already a distant objective, since there is no conception of an effective political-economic pact in this context.
2020: inclusion of the climate agenda in municipal elections
The municipal electoral process brings construction guidelines, debates and platforms from which city society wants for the future. Debates ranging from a local discussion, by neighborhood or sector, to the construction of party and candidacy programs. In 2020, the environmental agenda must be accompanied by topics such as COVID-19, public health and job creation. Alexandre Batista, CBC's project coordinator, says that even with the focus on elections strongly linked to health and the economy due to the pandemic, the climate agenda can be inserted in this electoral debate through urban mobility, since the topic has great relevance socioeconomic and environmental.
“Urban mobility can be greener, more inclusive and healthier, either through the implementation of cycle paths, or with greater use of large transport, such as ferries, subways and trains. In order to make environmental discussion a prominent point in the eyes of society in the 2020 electoral cycle, it is strategic to focus efforts on the debate on urban mobility and climate adaptation ”.
The Centro Brasil no Clima has been carrying out strategic work this year, such as climate training for candidates in municipal elections and building a climate education network and training for future candidates. According to Alexandre, the Brasil no Clima Center will also carry out climate training for state parliamentarians, in order to address the understanding of climate change concepts, the impacts caused in cities and the need for adaptation, as well as forms of financing and other models of subsidies for beyond the public budget. "It is important to demonstrate how to make green actions and projects viable that do not depend solely on the public budget, in order to spread knowledge about how to develop public-private partnerships in this regard".