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In preparations for April's climate summit, Brazilian governors send a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden


Brazil, April 2021

Dear President Biden,

We would like to offer our compliments and congratulations on your inauguration as President of the United States of America, and we wish you and Vice President Kamala Harris the utmost success.

The undersigned Governors of the States of Brazil, which comprise 90% of the national territory, hereby express our interest in an institutional approach to develop partnerships and financing strategies to boost environmental regeneration, climate stability, reduction of inequalities, and  sustainable supply chains, encouraging the adoption of technologies to reduce emissions from traditional economic activities in the Americas and the creation of a society that is more resilient to global health crises.

The Governors for Climate coalition, the broadest and most diverse ever at the Brazilian subnational level, includes progressives, moderates and conservatives, signals Brazil's desire for unity and collaboration in creating solutions that protect humanity and all species of life that are now threatened by ecological degradation.

Aware of the global climate emergency, the subscribed Brazilian subnational governments are committed to the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions; the promotion of renewable energy; the fight against deforestation; the compliance with the Forest Code for the conservation of forests and native vegetation; the improvement of efficiency in agriculture and cattle-raising; the protection and welfare of indigenous peoples, and the search for multilateral approaches to enable mass reforestation, integrated to regional socio-productive systems. At the same time, we sought concrete solutions to overcome poverty, which is still prevalent in our continent. These actions can not only remove carbon, reduce poverty and protect biodiversity but also prevent future pandemics.

To advance a systemic approach, the Governors for Climate coalition aims to structure interconnected climate, social and economic policies and has been exchanging best practices with representatives from US governors, Latin American leaders, and governments from Europe and the United Kingdom, which will host the next United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), when we want to present innovations and high-impact partnerships that consider the role of local agendas and their singularities, in order to achieve sustainable development in the broadest way and with the greatest possible positive impact on people's lives.

Celebrating your government's decision to strengthen the international environmental agenda and the Paris Agreement, we express our intention to implement joint actions and propose the construction of a cooperation between the United States and  Brazilian state-level governments. As Brazil encompasses most of the Amazon rainforest, the world's largest tropical forest, and other biomes that together support the most extensive biodiversity recorded capable of regulating water and carbon cycles on a planetary scale, the need to coordinate subnational strategies is paramount. However, historically, these are the areas that concentrate poverty and lack access to basic public policies. Therefore, uniting a robust environmental conservation agenda, a productive recovery of degraded areas, and the protection of at-risk biomes, with a focus on reducing social inequalities, is urgent for this new scenario.

To prevent the global temperature from rising more than 1.5° C by the end of the century, humanity will need to reforest an area the size of the United States’ territory. In this challenge, Brazil can extend the Earth's vegetated area not only in the Amazon but also in biomes with a great capacity for carbon capture and invaluable biodiversity and socioeconomic utility  such as the Cerrado, Atlantic Forest, Caatinga and Pantanal which was severely damage by the 2020's fires. However, to accomplish the task while advancing in a new economy, capable of promoting the effective well-being of traditional communities, is the great challenge so that the goal of reducing emissions does not further burden the poorest countries.

Our integrated proposal for partnership with the United States can quickly add technical capacity, large regenerable land areas, and the local governance of state governments. The immense investment capacity of the American economy can support Brazilian states to connected government policies, scientific knowledge, innovative instruments, and entrepreneurial initiatives.

Our states have funds and mechanisms created specially to respond to the climate emergency, with consolidated structure and governance, available for safe and transparent application of international resources, ensuring verifiable results.

Thus, it is possible to create structured and decentralized channels to enable large-scale actions, in multiple locations of the Brazilian territory, enabling the protection of native vegetation, the restoration of degraded areas, the inclusion of local communities with planned training and job-creation strategies, and the integration of the business sector, connecting the economies of Brazil and the USA in sectors as bioenergy, low carbon agriculture, renewable energies, and standing forest bioeconomy, employing modern technologies to add value to forest products, promoting sustainable international trade practices.

Together, we can efficiently build the largest decarbonization economy on the planet, creating benchmarks to drive the world economy’s transition to a carbon-neutral model, guiding a post-pandemic green economic recovery. Brazilian states have enormous capacities to contribute to global emissions capture through low-cost native forest preservation and reforestation programs, combined with increased ambition by the national NDC, poverty reduction, development of new economic arrangements, and strengthening of indigenous communities.

This innovative partnership will bring benefits to both countries and the planet, guiding a post-pandemic green economic recovery in our continents and influencing other major economies, contributing decisively to reducing inequalities, reversing tensions, and creating a culture of multilateral socioeconomic development.

Certain of the high level of convergence and emphasizing our desires for healthier times for our peoples, we remain open to creating an interactive channel with your government to result in practical and concrete steps.

The acute current pandemic, along the climate crisis, demands that we devise immediate actions to avoid new planetary-scale diseases, having as our guiding principles the union of nations, knowledge, capacities and, above all, solidarities and dreams that move us to a new level of collective wisdom. Joining efforts for  immediate vaccination is the highest priority.

We believe that it is possible to start a new process of transforming society, making our region more just, sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous for current and future generations. There is much to repair, restore, heal and build, and there is much to invent to achieve a healthy and safe future.

Kind regards,

  • Acre Gladson Cameli

  • Alagoas Renan Filho

  • Amapá Waldez Góes

  • Amazonas Wilson Lima

  • Bahia Rui Costa

  • Ceará Camilo Santana

  • Espírito Santo Renato Casagrande

  • Goiás Ronaldo Caiado

  • Maranhão Flávio Dino

  • Mato Grosso Mauro Mendes

  • Mato Grosso do Sul Reinaldo Azambuja

  • Minas Gerais Romeu Zema

  • Pará Helder Barbalho

  • Paraíba João Azevêdo

  • Paraná Ratinho Júnior

  • Pernambuco Paulo Câmara

  • Piauí Wellington Dias

  • Rio de Janeiro Cláudio Castro

  • Rio Grande do Norte Fátima Bezerra

  • Rio Grande do Sul Eduardo Leite

  • Santa Catarina Carlos Moisés

  • São Paulo  João Doria

  • Sergipe Belivaldo Chagas

  • Tocantins Mauro Carlesse

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