Territorial plunder advances in the name of climate
The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be held in early November 2021 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.
This COP meeting will take place when the world is already experiencing the effects of the climate emergency. The big expectation for Glasgow is the finalization of the Paris Agreement Rule Book. Signed in 2015, the Agreement awaits the decision on the famous ‘Article 6’. This article will regulate the role of carbon markets – and of transactions involving ‘mitigation outcomes’ – in achieving the planet’s temperature stabilization goals.
In Brazil, the effects of this crisis are added to the socio-environmental consequences resulting from attacks on the socio-territorial rights of indigenous peoples, traditional peoples and communities, and family farmers and peasants. The same happens in the cities, and especially in the urban peripheries, with impoverished people in regions with precarious infrastructure and subject to extreme events, added to the end of public policies to fight hunger, such as the Food Purchase Program (PAA). The dismantling of environmental institutions is notorious, leading to successive records of deforestation and fires in the Brazilian biomes. Violence in the countryside and in the forest is also one of the highest in recent decades.
To save the climate, the obsession with carbon markets
Despite the failure of market mechanisms to produce real reductions in emissions around the world, they continue to be promoted as the great structural bet to make decarbonization and the goal of climate neutrality viable.
For two decades, the bet on carbon markets and offset mechanisms have been harshly criticized by civil society as a false solution to the climate crisis, as well as for the impacts caused in the territories of the Global South that are submitted to the condition of carbon sinks.
The current context of the Brazilian Amazon requires special attention due to the paralysis of the demarcation of Indigenous Lands and the invasion of traditional communities’ territories, especially common use areas and collective territories. In addition, forest fires have intensified since 2019, putting ecological regions such as the Amazon, Pantanal, and Brazilian Cerrado at risk of desertification.
Carbon market is a polluting license. Therefore, among the effects of its implementation are the expansion of destructive activities in the fields of mining, industrial-scale extractivism, and fossil fuel burning (which can be offset/neutralized elsewhere). In Brazil, such rationality is reflected in the Adopt a Park and Floresta+ Carbon programs.
Therefore, considering that this COP 26 has the worst conditions for democratic participation in the history of climate negotiations, we support the position of a broad coalition of civil society that demands its postponement until more equitable conditions for participation are presented.
Global environmental governance and the post-COVID green takeover: corporations and finance at the center
In our point of view, this will not be just another COP. This COP 26 is intended to take a definitive step towards crystallizing the complex architecture of global environmental governance that has been under negotiation for years.
The latest IPCC report has reinforced the tone of the climate emergency and there is urgency for a post-Covid global economic recovery and Green Deal horizon, in which the driving dynamics of the new economic cycle are guided by the combined strategies of decarbonization and digital transformation of the economy.
Added to the climate architecture is the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 16), which will be held in Kunming, China, in April/May 2022. On this occasion, countries will decide on the post-2020 Global Framework for Biodiversity, through a strategic plan until 2030, with the goal of increasing to 30% the land and sea surface under the protected areas/conservation units regime.
In addition, the problematic and much criticized corporate-driven agenda is gaining traction. This is the case of the Food Systems Summit, which was organized under the auspices of the United Nations and has been promoting a real transformation in the governance of global food systems.
On this same path are the proposals of Nature-Based Solutions (NbS). These include, among others, the promotion of eucalyptus monocultures, agrofuels, and the bet on transforming agriculture into a large-scale mitigation opportunity associated with the soil carbon market.
It is our understanding that the NbS make mitigation actions depend primarily on access to and control over land, in a context in which public territorial governance mechanisms are giving way to private and privatizing logics that intensify land conflicts and violence. The main ongoing threat against collective territories is through the implementation of the Rural Environmental Registration (CAR, in Portuguese), which has been promoting and consolidating digital land grabs.
In this scenario, we also see actors such as the IMF and the World Bank, with proposals for debt for climate/debt for nature swap. Note that private debts are guaranteed by national treasuries, thus generating public debt. Consequently, they deepen social inequalities and generate massive income transfers from the poor to the already very rich. Both organizations are moving to support the new financial engineering that is said to be necessary to make a new Green Deal possible, in which recovery and recovery programs include, among other things, the issuance of green bonds. In this way, land and other environmental “assets” (carbon, biodiversity, etc.) are transformed into collateral for bonds that are traded in the financial market.
Why do we say no to plunder in the name of climate?
“In the name of climate”, a series of agendas and mechanisms serve the interests of national and international actors and have been causing overwhelming impacts in the expropriation and dispossession of territories, appropriation of natural resources, real and symbolic violence on populations and ways of life.
At the same time, the expansion of the Brazilian agro-industrial complex and its associated logistical infrastructures place in the front line the bodies and territories (physical or imagined) of indigenous peoples, quilombolas, river dwellers, extractivists, traditional peoples and communities, peasants and family farmers, from all biomes in Brazil.
Given this scenario and considering what COP 26 represents in the consolidation of the international climate governance regime, we, Brazilian civil society organizations, social movements, trade union moviments, entities, forums, networks, activists, researchers gathered in the Belém Charter Group and other signatory organizations of this manifesto, come before the national and international public to state that:
● The climate debate is irreducible to technical issues or new funding opportunities: it is embedded in the organization of society; in power, economic and political relations; historical contexts; class relations and in correlations of forces;
● The market mechanisms created for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, represent a historical process of reconfiguration of the forms of accumulation and promote new global reengineering of the economy in the name of climate.
● We oppose the introduction of forests, ecosystems and agriculture in carbon market mechanisms and reject the promotion of financial market instruments as a priority means to finance countries’ climate action.
● We denounce that the widely popularized concept of net-zero emissions conceals offset mechanisms that perpetuate injustices and undermine environmental integrity;
● We reject the new dynamics of plunder promoted under the name of Nature-Based Solutions, for it is understood that it creates new fences to living spaces, reducing “nature” to a service provider for the benefit of companies and markets.
● We emphasize the defense of a political project for Amazonia, built for and with the Amazonian peoples, respecting their ways of life, creation and doing.
● We affirm that effective solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions reside in the demarcation of indigenous and quilombola lands; and in the defense of collective lands and territorial rights;
● We defend the protagonism of indigenous peoples, traditional communities, family farmers and peasants for the conservation of territories, biodiversity and common goods;
● We work for the strengthening of agroecological initiatives, which contribute to the conservation of sociobiodiversity, shortening of marketing circuits, and food sovereignty.
● We consider it necessary to discuss widely the path to a Just and Popular Transition, according to which a more integrated economy, aware of the limits of nature, does not sharpen the already dramatic situation of unemployment and income restriction of working class families;
Finally, we denounce the genocidal government of Jair Bolsonaro and question who could be interested in making Brazil an international pariah, financing and strengthening the destruction of historical achievements of the Brazilian State and its protagonist role throughout decades of international negotiation.
We resist and are against the transformation of nature into natural capital and the financialization and privatization of nature and common goods!
We will continue in struggle, building and affirming alternatives, defending our ways of life!
1 Grupo Carta de Belém
2 Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT)
3 Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores Rurais Agricultores e Agricultoras Familiares (CONTAG)
4 Conselho Nacional das Populações Extrativista (CNS)
5 Coordenação das Organizações Indígenas da Amazônia Brasileira (COIAB)
6 Coordenação Nacional de Articulação de Quilombos (CONAQ)
7 Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST)
8 Marcha Mundial das Mulheres (MMM)
9 Movimento Interestadual das Quebradeiras de Coco Babaçu (MIQCB)
10 Movimento de Mulheres Camponesas (MMC)
11 Movimento dos Pequenos Agricultores (MPA)
12 Movimento dos Pescadores e Pescadoras Artesanais (MPP)
13 Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Teto (MTST)
14 Abong – Associação Brasileira de ONGs
15 Ágora de Habitantes da Terra (AHT-Brasil)
16 Aliança RECOs – Redes de Cooperação Comunitária Sem Fronteiras
17 Alternativas para pequena agricultura no Tocantins (APA-TO)
18 Amigos da Terra Brasil (ATBr)
19 Articulação Agro é Fogo (AéF)
20 Articulação de Mulheres Brasileiras Jaú-SP (AMB)
21 Coletivo Raízes do Baobá Jaú-SP
22 Articulação de mulheres do Amapá (AMA)
23 Articulação de Mulheres do Amazonas (AMA)
24 Articulação Nacional de Agroecologia (ANA)
25 Articulação Pacari Raizeiras do Cerrado (Pacari)
26 Articulação PomerBR
27 Articulação Semiárido Brasileiro (ASA)
28 AS-PTA Agricultura Familiar e Agroecologia
29 Assessoria e Gestão em Estudos da Natureza, Desenvolvimento Humano e Ageoecologia (AGENDHA)
30 Associação Agroecológica Tijupá (Tijupá)
31 Associacao de Favelas de São José dos Campos SP (Afsjc)
32 Associação de Mulheres Agricultoras (AMACAMPO)
33 Associação Maranhense para a Conservação da Natureza (AMAVIDA)
34 Associação Mundial de Comunicação Comunitária – Brasil (AMARC BRASIL)
35 Associação Solidariedade Libertadora área de Codó (ASSOLIB)
36 Campanha Antipetroleira Nem um poço a mais!
37 Cáritas Brasileira (CB)
38 CDDH Dom Tomás Balduíno de MARAPÉ ES
39 Centro Dandara de Promotoras Legais Populares
40 Centro de Apoio a Projetos de Ação Comunitária (Ceapac)
41 Centro de Apoio e Promoção da Agroecologia (CAPA)
42 Centro de Atividades Culturais Econômicas e Sociais (CACES)
43 Centro de Desenvolvimento Agroecológico Sabiá (Centro Sabiá)
44 Centro de Promoção da Cidadania e Defesa dos Direitos Humanos Padre Josimo (CPCDDHPJ)
45 Centro Ecológico (CAE Ipê)
46 Comissão Nacional de Fortalecimento das Reservas Extrativistas e dos Povos e Comunidades Tradicionais Costeiros e Marinho (CONFREM-Brasil)
47 Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT)
48 Comitê de Energia Renovável do Semiárido (CERSA)
49 Comitê dos Povos e Comunidades Tradicionais do Pampa (CPCTP)
50 Comitê Nacional em Defesa dos Territórios frente à Mineração
51 Conselho de Missão entre Povos Indígenas (COMIN)
52 Conselho Indigenista Missionário (CIMI)
53 Conselho de Missão entre Povos Indígenas (COMIN)
54 Conselho Nacional de Ssgurança Alimentar e Nutricional (CONSEA -AM)
55 Coordenadoria Ecumênicade Serviço (CESE)
56 Defensores do planeta (DP)
57 Federação de Estudantes de Agronomia do Brasil (FEAB)
58 Federação de Órgãos para Assistência Social e Educacional (FASE)
59 Fundação Luterana de Diaconia (FLD)
60 Federação dos trabalhadores rurais agricultores e agricultoras familiares do estado do Pará (FETAGRI-PA)
61 Fórum da Amazônia Oriental (FAOR)
62 Fórum de mulheres do Araripe (FMA)
63 Fórum Mato-grossense de Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento (Formad)
64 Fórum Mudanças Climáticas e Justiça Socioambiental (FMCJS)
65 Fotógrafos pela democracia (FPD)
66 Fundo Dema
67 Greenpeace Brasil (GPBR)
68 Grupo de Estudos em Educação e Meio Ambiente do Rio de Janeiro (GEEMA)
69 Grupo de Estudos, Pesquisa e Extensão sobre Estado e Territórios na Fronteira Amazônica (GEPE-Front)
70 Grupo de Estudos: Desenvolvimento, Modernidade e Meio Ambiente (GEDMMA)
71 Guerreiras da Palhada
72 Instituto Brasileiro de Analises Sociais e Economicas (Ibase)
73 Instituto de Estudos da Complexidade (IEC)
74 Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos (Inesc)
75 Instituto Equit – Gênero, Economía e Cidadania global (I.EQUIT)
76 Instituto Mulheres da Amazônia (IMA)
77 IYALETA Pesquisa, Ciência e Humanidades
78 Justiça nos Trilhos
79 KOINONIA Presença Ecumênica e Serviço
80 Marcha Mundial por Justiça Climática/ Marcha Mundial do Clima
81 Memorial Chico Mendes (MCM)
82 Movimento Baía Viva ( Baía Viva – RJ)
83 Movimento brasileiro de Mulheres cegas e com baixa visão (MBMC)
84 Movimento Ciencia Cidadã (MCC)
85 Movimento Mulheres pela P@Z!
86 Movimento Negro Unificado-Nova Iguaçu (MNU-Nova Iguaçu)
87 Núcleo de Agroecologia e Educação do Campo/UEG (GWATÁ)
88 Plataforma dos Movimentos Sociais pela Reforma do Sistema Político
89 Processo de Articulação e Diálogo entre Agências Europeias e Parceiros Brasileiros (PAD)
90 Rede Brasileira Pela Integração dos Povos (REBRIP)
91 Rede de Agroecologia do Maranhão (Rama)
92 Rede de Comunidades Tradicionais Pantaneira (Rede Pantaneira)
93 Rede de Educação Ambiental do Rio de Janeiro (REARJ)
94 Rede de Educação Ambiental e Políticas Públicas (REAPOP)
95 Rede de Mulheres Ambientalistas da América Latina – Elo Brasil (Red Mujeres)
96 Rede Feminista de Saude, Direitos Sexuais e Direitos Reprodutivos
97 Rede Jubileu Sul Brasil
98 Sempreviva Organização Feminista (SOF)
99 Sindicato dos Docentes da UNIFESSPA (SINDUNIFESSPA)
100 Sociedade Brasileira de Psicanálise do Rio de Janeiro (SBPRJ)
101 Terra de Direitos