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iCS’ Newsletter: June/2018
What’s happening in Brazil
BRAZIL BACKPEDALS
Truck drivers’ strike reinforces Brazilian dependence on fossil fuels

In the last weeks of May, Brazil went through a truckers’ strike, which began on May 21. The strikers protested against increases in the price of diesel, after the National Confederation of Independent Carriers (CNTA) submitted an official letter to the federal government requesting the freezing of the prices and the opening of negotiations. Such official letter went without an answer. As a consequence, airports in Brazil ran out of fuel, supermarkets were not re-stocked, roads were closed, events were canceled, and the country, quite literally, came to a halt.

According to Walter Figueiredo De Simoni, coordinator of the iCS Transport portfolio, the question that needs to be asked is: how did it come to this? Brazil’s reliance on modes of transport that use fossil fuels is immense, he reckons, and this episode only made the situation worse. Of all the cargo Transportd in the country, 65% go through highways – and this percentage corresponds to the products the population consumes on a daily basis.

“This is basically why this group wields so much power that it was able to stop the country. They were able to set the tone of the discussions because they have the ability to affect people’s lives. The problem now is that the government has decided to ‘privatize’ the discussion and heeded the requests. The cost of this decision will be passed on to the people, in the form of increases in the prices of services and products, because the government still needs to collect taxes”, he says.

Unlike what many countries around the world have been doing - specifically taxing fossil fuels as a means of decarbonizing transport - the new agreement, which led to the resumption of supply and opening of the highways, reduced the costs of gasoline and diesel. This means that the country has missed the opportunity to discuss a new path, especially in relation to public transport. “We are taking away the money that should, for example, cheapen the price of this type of mobility. And it is also time to adopt a zero-carbon policy in public transportation, either via electrification or via fuel”, he says.

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Energy
1st Energy Efficiency auction in Brazil is subject to public consultation and is expected to generate great energy savings in one region of the country

The National Electric Energy Agency submitted to public consultation the 1st Energy Efficiency Auction of Brazil. By June 16, the population can participate by submitting suggestions about the auction, which is intended to select the company or group that commits to the promotion of greater electricity savings in a region. Roraima was chosen as a pilot state, which is emblematic as it faces an electricity crisis due to its dependence on Venezuelan energy. “ANEEL is drafting the regulations, so it prepared a technical note and is submitting it to public consultation. We will supplement the work by funding the ISA, which will bring the team of the Federal Technical Institute of Roraima to a project that will determine the potential of efficiency in each of the following segments: public, large and small consumers”, explained Roberto Kishinami, the coordinator of the iCS Energy portfolio.

Unprecedented: SEEG methodology is detailed for the first time in an international publication

Scientific Data, a journal that is part of the Nature group, was the first international periodical to publish a scientific paper describing, step-by-step, the SEEG methodology (System of Estimation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions) – which is the system used by key member organizations of Observatório do Clima to produce annual data on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases in Brazil. In the paper, 23 authors explained how estimates of emissions of CO2 and other gases are made and updated in the sectors of land use change, agriculture, energy, industrial processes, and waste. The SEEG methodology is an open-source model that can be replicated, criticized and improved around the globe.

Energy consumed by air conditioners is expected to triple by 2050, says IEA

The equation is simple: the larger the population and their purchasing power, especially in warmer regions of emerging countries, the greater the consumption of air conditioning. According to a study by the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy used for ambient cooling is expected to triple by 2050. iCS, along with its partners, pursues actions to increase the energy efficiency of appliances.

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Transport
Belo Horizonte, Rio and São Paulo buses were not approved

According to the evaluation performed by users of the IDEC MoveCidade app, the buses in Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are far from ideal. About 1,800 responses, with rates ranging from 0 to 10, were sent between September 2017 and March 2018, and they portrayed the dissatisfaction of the population. In São Paulo, safety was one of the highest rated items (5.70), while in Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro it was one of the lowest. Traffic, on the other hand, was one of the top three items in all cities, but the highest score was 5.58, in Belo Horizonte.

Urban mobility remains outside the plans (and investments) of the government of Belo Horizonte

A report by Movimento Nossa BH on the 2017 municipal budget found that active and collective mobility still receive low investments and are left out of government plans. Among the negative points, bike use received no investments, despite the Belo Horizonte Bicycle Mobility Plan, that was approved by the mayor. The accessibility project, with its requirement for the installation of pedestrian and sound signals to guarantee access to the visually impaired and disabled, shares the same fate - even though, in this case, there were R$6 billion earmarked for this in the budget. In the case of public transport, only 2% of the budgeted amount for the construction of BRT corridors was paid.

Active cargo transport gains relevance in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods

In the district of Bom Retiro, in the central area of São Paulo, it is possible to say that bicycles are much more than a leisure device – they are a delivery vehicle. Every hour, 90 orders are sent to their destination by bicycle or tricycle. Each day, the number reaches 2,350 trips originating from local businesses. This data is the result of the Ciclologística study, conducted by Aliança Bike, in partnership with the Laboratory of Sustainable Mobility of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Labmob - UFRJ). In Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, 10,000 bicycle and tricycle trips are made every day - although the area of the two neighborhoods is similar, the same cannot be said of their number of inhabitants since Copacabana has 4 times more inhabitants than Bom Retiro. Active cargo transport grows, even without proper structure.

2,547 pedestrian traps on the sidewalks of Brazil are monitored in the 2018 edition of the Corrida Amiga race

The 2018 edition of Calçada Cilada (“Sidewalk Trap”), the national campaign of the Corrida Amiga that maps problems in sidewalks, came to an end with 2,547 mapped pedestrian traps. About 30 partner organizations distributed throughout the Southeast, Midwest, South and Northeast of Brazil invited people to inspect sidewalks with a large flow of pedestrians during the month of April. The results of the mapping in 23 cities are available in the Colab app and showed problems such as irregular sidewalks, lack of accessibility, holes, obstacles and garbage.

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Climate Policy and Outreach
Climate change entails a national and international security warning

The effects of climate change and extreme events on the security of countries was the theme of the International Meeting on Climate and Security, held in Rio de Janeiro, as part of the Sustainable Future Dialogues platform. Presented as panels - one on the international scene and another on Brazil - the event addressed the plurality of definitions for the word security and the need to improve governance and interconnections between the various players discussing the subject. The summary was published in Valor Econômico. The journalist Daniela Chiaretti echoed the speech of the Brazilian diplomat Patricia Leite Soares, according to whom the main point of the issue should lie in mitigation and monitoring of climate change, and not in the need for security due to possible conflicts.

In an interview to Estadão, John Conger, one of the guest speakers and a director of the U.S. Center for Climate & Security (CCS), said that climate change is still treated as a matter of national security by the Defense Department, even though it is overlooked by President Donald Trump. In fact, the U.S. concerns are precisely related to matters of defense - there is the fear that the country’s military power could be affected in areas prone to rising sea levels or melting ice, for example.

Alexander Carius, the founder of adelphi - a German think tank with 200 experts - spoke with Valor Econômico about potential geopolitical changes resulting from renewable energy growth. One example he mentioned was that of Saudi Arabia, which announced the investment of USD 7 billion this year to reshape its energy matrix. “Will the country’s influence in the region, currently based on oil, persist in a scenario where renewable energy sources are given priority?”, he asked.

In an article pulished in Folha de S. Paulo, Ana Toni and Alice Amorim (the executive director of iCS and coordinator of iCS's Climate Policy and Outreach portfolio, respectively) drew attention to climatic risk – which can already be felt in the lives of many Brazilians, but is still absent from news coverages. “Climate change increases the frequency of destructive rains, which are responsible for landslides and floods that left hundreds dead or homeless. Changes in rainfall can affect entire crops, threatening food security”, they wrote.

Land use and coverage is in the agenda of the debate organized by Coalizão Brasil Clima, Florestas e Agricultura, in São Paulo

No dia 17 de maio, a Coalizão Brasil Clima, Florestas e Agricultura promoted the seminar “Agriculture and the dynamics of land cover and use: scientific data and its application”, in São Paulo. The event brought together about 190 people, including the leading researchers and experts in remote sensors in the country, representing different organizations. Structured in four panels, the meeting discussed public policies, sources of information and how to make them available on media platforms. Ana Toni participated as the mediator of the last panel, which discussed the issue of data usage, risk assessment and investment opportunities. “There is no doubt that Brazil is leading the production of land use data, and increasingly, the government and the private sector appropriate this data to define and establish their policies. It was very interesting to see that although we have different financial products for agriculture, there are no financial products to keep a forest standing. This shows the low value placed on forests - not only by the financial or insurance sectors, but also by our society”, she warned.

Deforestation in the Amazon could end before 2030, study says

It is possible to end deforestation in the Amazon before 2030. This is the main conclusion of the report “Zero Deforestation in the Amazon: how and why to get there”, presented during a seminar in São Paulo. Ana Toni participated in the debate and highlighted the need to involve the populations of the Amazon region in this process.

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Low Carbon Economy
Transition into a low-carbon economy is expected to generate a positive balance of 18 million new jobs

Many people are still discussing the costs and rewards of the transition into a low-carbon economy. A new report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) promises to show, in practice, the benefits of a greener and more sustainable model: in all, a positive balance of 18 million new jobs will be created, if countries adopt the right policies. And Brazil stands to benefit from such new reality. In the transition, 620 thousand new jobs will be created, far more than the 180,000 jobs that are expected to be lost - a ratio of 3.4 new job opportunities for each layoff. But how? Those new jobs are expected to come from the need to prioritize renewable energy sources, develop the use of electric vehicles, construct and adapt buildings and restructure the global consumption model into a circular system (extraction-production-consumption-reuse-new use).

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Grants Approved in May
CCMob - Coalizão Clima
e Mobilidade Ativa
Grant Amount R$ 250.000,00 Grant Period 12 months Portfolio Transport
Purpose of Grant: For the creation and strengthening of the Coalition for Climate Change and Active Mobility, which will help to connect the active mobility groups with the climate change movement, through the development of campaigns, participation in spaces dedicated to discussing climate policy and promoting climate knowledge within the network of active mobility groups.  Ultimately, the goal is to push for better low carbon policies in the field of active mobility.
Instituto Update Grant Amount R$ 210.000,00 Grant Period 10 months Portfolio Climate Policy and Outreach Purpose of Grant: To democratize the access of new individuals and to promote renewal in established political institutions by lowering the costs of political campaigning. This will be done through the development of "Liane", an open data toolkit that increases the competitiveness of low-cost campaigns, by combining political intelligence, online and offline methodologies, technologies and use of data. This intends to support the candidacy of young and new leaders.
World-Transforming Technologies Grant Amount R$ 47.000,00 Grant Period 8 months Portfolio Low Carbon Economy Purpose of Grant: For the development of innovative, technology-based solutions to climate change challenges, and to create the space for experimenting with technology, social and business-model innovations in the field, aiming to expand and qualify the international network of WTT and ultimately the impact innovation ecosystem in Brazil.
Movimento Nossa BH Grant Amount R$ 250.000,00 Grant Period 12 months Portfolio Transport Purpose of Grant: To strengthen the city of Belo Horizonte’s local Urban Mobility Observatory, in monitoring the development and implementation of urban mobility policies. The Observatory's current challenges include (1) ensuring that the city publishes relevant data with adequate transparency and frequency, (2) improving participation of key stakeholders and (3) expanding its scope to include the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte, comprised of 34 municipalities.
Nova Democracia Grant Amount R$ 200.000,00 Grant Period 12 months Portfolio Climate Policy and Outreach Purpose of Grant: To enable the New Democracy coalition to build a Democratic Pact among political actors around the affirmation of democratic values, the adoption of good practices in national elections, with ethical and transparent funding and substantive proposals; and the implementation of the Democratic Reform process in 2019. This aims to renew and strengthen Brazil’s political institutions as the basis for key public policy related to climate change.
IEI – International Energy Initiative Brazil Grant Amount R$ 693.000,00 Grant Period 12 months Portfolio Energia Purpose of Grant: To create Brazil's first Energy Efficiency Portal, presenting Energy Efficiency Indicators for Brazilian energy consumption sectors.
FBMC - Fórum Brasileiro
de Mudanças Climáticas
Grant Amount R$ 1.000.000,00 Grant Period 12 months Portfolio Climate Policy and Outreach
Purpose of Grant: For the ongoing work of the Brazilian Forum on Climate Change, aiming at the development of a new climate policy governance proposal; to detail the Brazilian economy-wide GHG Emission reduction target into sector targets to advance the implementation of the National Determined Contribution (NDC); and to start drafting a proposal for the Brazilian Long-Term Strategy (LTS).
Coalizão Brasil Clima, Florestas e Agricultura Grant Amount R$ 400.000,00 Grant Period 12 months Portfolio Climate Policy and Outreach Purpose of Grant: To strengthen the role of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture as a key hub of influence on the future of Brazil's low carbon land use sector, through the publication of position papers on Planaveg, Renovabio, Sinaflor; active participation in the Brazilian Forum on Climate Change; and development of joint initiatives with the financial sector and academia on new low carbon economic instruments related to land use.
ISER – Instituto
de Estudos da Religião
Grant Amount R$ 250.000,00 Grant Period 12 months Portfolio Climate Policy and Outreach
Purpose of Grant: To support ISER´s institutional capacity to become a Brazilian hub for interfaith dialogue, knowledge, communication and outreach on climate issues, and to maintain the involvement of multiple faith leaders on the climate cause through the strengthening of its Faith on Climate initiative.
Instituto de Cidadania Empresarial Grant Amount R$ 50.000,00 Grant Period 3 months Portfolio Low Carbon Economy Purpose of Grant: For the incorporation of a structured climate agenda within the 2018 edition of the Impact Business and Social Finance Forum. It will contribute to greater understanding on financial instruments, expertises, and experiences which aim to connect the adequate business models to the challenges presented by climate change in various sectors like renewable energies, transports, forests and agriculture.
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