By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – On Sunday, September 27th, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will announce the country’s Objectives of Sustainable Development Report during the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal Summit, in New York.
The report will include Brazil’s target for emission of gases which cause the greenhouse effect and the President is expected to highlight that Brazil has reduced its greenhouse gas emission (GHG) by 41 percent between 2005 and 2014.
“The document Brazil will present is ambitious and innovative. Brazil has conducted several surveys with social groups and economic actors (to prepare document),” stated Raphael Azeredo, environment director and special issues at the Foreign Relations Ministry during a press conference this week.
One of the ways that the country could do that, according to a new report by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the University of São Paulo (USP), is by changing its current energy mix, through the modernization of its transport system, the improvement of its renewable energy capacity and the increase of the country’s industrial efficiency.
According to WRI, as the world’s seventh largest emitter of GHG, ‘Brazil’s climate commitment is an important piece of the global response to climate change’. The report states that ‘under current policies Brazilian GHG emissions are likely to exceed the country’s share of the remaining carbon budget between 2024 and 2035 if it does not change its current energy mix’.
This weekend’s Sustainable Development Goal Summit is seen as a preliminary meeting with global leaders to discuss the issues to be debated at the COP 21 (Climate Change Conference) in Paris, France in December. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) will be an agenda to be implemented by countries by 2030 and will substitute the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) launched in 2000 and which will expire at the end of 2015.
The SDG will have seventeen objectives with 169 universal targets for developed and developing nations. The new agenda is already considered by many environmentalists as being ambitious for the United Nations, since unlike the MDG these objectives were prepared with the direct participation of member states and populations around the world.
Among the proposals are the eradication of poverty and hunger and the promotion of sustainable agriculture, health, education and gender equality. The targets also seek to guarantee universal access to water, employment, sustainable energy, sanitation and economic growth, as well as forecasting changes in consumption and production standards.
“If people have food, water, shelter, healthcare and security they can hold down a job, buy goods and invest in their future; if they have equal access to education information and justice they can start seeking new markets and opportunities” said Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations earlier this week at a sustainable business conference in São Paulo.
According to the UN official this is the universal agenda for humankind. “This is our shared ambitions for a shared future. It acknowledges that neither nature nor climate change nor human suffering are limited to political borders,” Steiner told the audience.