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Boletim iCS: October/2016

In September, Brazil joined the group of countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement and iCS supported the first International Workshop “The Role of Energy Efficiency in the Brazilian Low Carbon Economy”, organized by EPE. Find below these and other news about the institute and its grantees.

Suggestions or comments can be sent to luiza@climaesociedade.org.

HIGHLIGHTS

MAIN
The International Workshop on Energy Efficiency promoted by EPE, with the support of iCS, was a great success

ICS’S AGENDA
iCS and GIFE promoted a debate about the regulatory environment to encourage the formation of a donation culture   |  Marcelo Freixo and Tarcísio Motta, candidates for mayor and city council of Rio de Janeiro, discuss urban mobility at the iCS

POWER
Ministry of Mines and Energy: EPE to prepare a Ten-Year Energy Efficiency Action Plan   |  Ibama interdicts Presidente Médici thermoelectric plant, the oldest coal plant in the country   |  New BNDES policy for the energy sector favors alternative sources

URBAN MOBILITY
World Car-free Day inspires initiatives to rethink urban mobility   |  iCS grantees present projects at Walk21, the largest global conference on walking   |  Fact-checking: proposals made by SP and RJ mayoral candidates   |  Survey shows needs and wishes of the population in terms of urban mobility

CLIMATE POLICY
Brazil ratifies the Paris Agreement, the main positive agenda in the beginning of the Temer administration   |  Branca Americano gives a lecture at Bradesco Seguros about the risks and opportunities of climate change

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN BRAZIL
Platform offered by Instituto Escolhas allows rural land owners to calculate the costs of recovery of Legal Reserve and Permanent Protection Areas   |  Municipal elections bring great changes to the Brazilian political scenario

MAIN

The International Workshop on Energy Efficiency promoted by EPE, with the support of iCS, was a great success
On September 27, EPE organized, with the support of iCS, the International Workshop “The Role of Energy Efficiency in the Brazilian Low Carbon Economy”. Representatives of the private sector, of the government and of civil society discussed the importance of energy efficiency in the country, the relationship of this issue with the Brazilian commitments under the Paris Agreement and the alternatives for the achievement of the country’s goals. Ana Toni highlighted that the Paris Agreement shows the need to address climate change as an item of the development and economic agenda, in addition to the urgency to implement the INDC goals. Dan-Hamza Goodacre, the energy efficiency program director of ClimateWorks, presented practical examples of energy efficiency initiatives that have generated great results around the world. Luiz Augusto Barroso, EPE’s president, said that, first, Brazil has to meet its energy efficiency target, and, then, “we can try to double down on it.” Read the full article here.

ICS’S AGENDA

iCS and GIFE promoted a debate about the regulatory environment to encourage the formation of a donation culture
On September 12, GIFE – Grupo de Institutos, Fundações e Empresas organized, together with iCS, a roundtable about ITCMD (Tax on Causa Mortis Conveyances and Donations). The meeting brought together around 30 organizations – including Fundação Ford, Fundação Vale, FASE, Instituto Igarapé, Action Aid, Doctors without Borders and Amnesty International. Under discussion was the importance of creating a regulatory environment that encourages the formation of a donation culture in Brazil, based on an analysis of the current legislation model, which is the target of much criticism. Among the many problems of the current model are the lack of distinction between public- and private-interest donations for tax purposes and the bureaucracy that affects the tax exemption and immunity processes of organizations.

Marcelo Freixo and Tarcísio Motta, candidates for mayor and city council of Rio de Janeiro, discuss urban mobility at the iCS
On September 1, iCS welcomed the mayoral candidate Marcelo Freixo, and the candidate for city council, Tarcísio Motta (both of PSOL party), to discuss their proposals on urban mobility for the city of Rio de Janeiro. This was the third event in the series “Dialogues on Mobility in the 2016 Elections”, held in partnership with grantee GIP.

POWER

Ministry of Mines and Energy: EPE to prepare a Ten-Year Energy Efficiency Action Plan
The Ministry of Mines and Energy has commissioned Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE) to develop a Ten-Year Energy Efficiency Action Plan. According to Ricardo Gorini, EPE’s director of Energy Studies, EPE has done diagnostic studies of what might be the energy efficiency potential in the country. The expectation is that this new document will be released at the same time as the Ten-Year Energy Plan. With this commission, the MME indicates that energy efficiency might be considered a source of energy in the Brazilian energy planning, which would channel resources to this area. Investments in energy efficiency are essential to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by the energy sector and to increase the global competitiveness of the Brazilian economy.

Ibama interdicts Presidente Médici thermoelectric plant, the oldest coal plant in the country
The Presidente Médici thermoelectric plant, the oldest coal plant operating in the country, was interdicted on September 13 by Ibama. Located in Candiota, Rio Grande do Sul, the plant was the site of a number of violations of the maximum flow of effluent and rates of oil and grease, as well as atmospheric emissions above the standards set by law. The suspension of the activities of thermoelectric power plants is essential to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in the Brazilian energy sector.

New BNDES policy for the energy sector favors alternative sources
BNDES (the Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social Development) disclosed, on October 3, its new funding policy for the energy sector, in which investments are channeled to projects with a high rate of social and environmental return. In that regard, BNDES increased its participation in the funding of solar energy and maintained its involvement in energy efficiency projects; efficient street lighting and other alternative sources of energy: wind, small hydroelectric plants, biomass and co-generation. The Bank reduced its participation in investments in large hydroelectric plants, and discontinued the support in the form of TJLP (long-term interest rates) to coal and fuel oil thermal plants, which are the sources that generate the highest levels of emissions of greenhouse gases. The new conditions, in line with the low carbon development model, will be in effect during the next auctions, to take place in October and December 2016.

URBAN MOBILITY

World Car-free Day inspires initiatives to rethink urban mobility
September 22 was World Car-free Day. To celebrate the date, Frente da Mobilidade Ativa, headed by Ciclocidade and Cidadeapé, placed informative banners at the Estaiada and Casa Verde bridges, in São Paulo, as seen in the picture. The goal of the movement is to have the city commit to zero traffic deaths – and the reduction of 5% in the speed limit for cars can result in 30% fewer fatal pedestrian accidents and collisions.
Corrida Amiga, an iCS grantee, organized Multimodal Week, from September 19 to 23. The idea was to encourage the use of different modes of transport, focusing on active and public alternatives. Silvia Stuchi, founder of the institute, says that the movement helps to raise awareness about the structure of public space and the importance of everyday choices.

iCS grantees present projects at Walk21, the largest global conference on walking
The largest global conference on walking, Walk21, was held in Hong Kong from October 3 to 7. Two projects supported by iCS were presented: the Walkability Index, of ITDP, and Como Anda, of grantees Corrida Amiga and Cidade Ativa.
The Walkability Index, developed by ITDP in a partnership with Instituto Rio Patrimônio da Humanidade (IRPH) and Publica Arquitetos, enables an evaluation of the conditions of the urban space and the monitoring of the impact of public space qualification actions, pointing to whether the displacement on foot is facilitated or not. The publication is comprised of two volumes: Walkability Index – Tool, which describes the assessment methodology, and Walkability Index – Pilot Application, which presents the results of the pilot application around Praça Tiradentes, in downtown Rio de Janeiro.
Como Anda, a project mentioned in the September newsletter, mapped 131 organizations that work with walking mobility across the country. The website includes a timeline of key events relating to walking mobility and an unprecedented compilation of legislation on the subject.

Fact-checking: proposals made by SP and RJ mayoral candidates
Aos Fatos released a report on the views of the São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro mayoral candidates in light of the 20 dreams of City of Dreams, a project supported by iCS. Featuring statements of candidates and fact-checking, this initiative helps people see consistencies and contradictions in candidates’ proposals. Urban mobility was one of the highlights among the covered topics

Survey shows needs and wishes of the population in terms of urban mobility
ITDP and WRI, two iCS grantees, carried out an unprecedented survey, which showed alarming results: in São Paulo, Brazil's largest metropolis, only 25% of people live within a radius of up to 1 km of subway, train, BRT and LRT stations. With investments, this number could nearly triple by 2025. Easy access to public transportation is essential to reduce the use of private cars, the most polluting means of transportation.
Greenpeace, another iCS grantee, commissioned a survey from Instituto Datafolha, which concluded that 74% of Brazilians, i.e., the vast majority of the population, are in favor of actions that reduce the space for private cars on the streets in order to expand the space for bike lanes, bus lanes and sidewalks. In total, 2,098 individuals, 16 years of age or older, were interviewed in 132 municipalities in all regions of the country.

CLIMATE POLICY

Brazil ratifies the Paris Agreement, the main positive agenda in the beginning of the Temer administration
On September 12, the Brazilian government officially ratified the Paris Agreement. The ceremony was attended by the President of the Republic, Michel Temer, and by the Ministers of the Environment, José Sarney Filho, and of Foreign Affairs, José Serra. José Sarney Filho stressed the commitment of his ministry in ensuring a low carbon economy, reinforcing the importance of addressing environmental policies as allies – and not as barriers - of economic development. Observatório do Clima, an iCS grantee, was invited to represent civil society at the table. In his speech, Carlos Rittl, the executive secretary of Observatório, said it is necessary to change the direction of Brazilian public policies dealing with the climate agenda.

Branca Americano gives a lecture at Bradesco Seguros about the risks and opportunities of climate change
Branca Americano was invited by Bradesco Seguros to give a lecture, in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, about the “Risks and opportunities of Climate Change – a look into the future”. During her lecture, the iCS Climate Policy portfolio coordinator addressed the impacts of this issue on the insurance sector. If, on the one hand, the sector will be directly affected by the computation of the effects of climate change beyond regulatory, physical and competitiveness risks, among others, on the other, such changes will play an important role in developing risk quantification tools to support decision making in uncertain environments.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN BRAZIL

Platform offered by Instituto Escolhas allows rural land owners to calculate the costs of recovery of Legal Reserve and Permanent Protection Areas
Instituto Escolhas, an iCS grantee, has launched the platform #How much does it cost to Plant Forests?, which will help rural land owners in Brazil to calculate the costs to recover Legal Reserve and Permanent Protection Areas. The project, sanctioned by the scientific council of the Institute - composed, among others, by economists such as Marcos Lisboa and Bernard Appy - also shows whether it is possible to obtain financial return from the recovered area, since the new Forest Code allows the commercial operation of up to 50% of Legal Reserves, if subsequent planting is assured.

Municipal elections bring great changes to the Brazilian political scenario
The first round of municipal elections in Brazil took place on Sunday, October 2. PT, the party of deposed President Dilma Rousseff, lost 60% of the municipalities obtained in the last elections, four years ago. In São Paulo, the PSDB candidate, João Dória, won the race in the first round, which raises doubts about the continuity of the urban mobility policies of his predecessor, Fernando Haddad (PT), responsible for building bicycle paths and for expanding exclusive bus lanes - which reduced traffic delays in São Paulo.


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