Voluntary GHG Program in Brazil

brazil-flag.jpgThe World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) yesterday announced the implementation of a GHG program in Brazil. The ‘Brazil GHG Protocol Program’ enables companies to monitor and better manage GHG emissions on a voluntary basis. It is a commendable commitment to improving environmental standards in the cooperate world; however this progressive focus towards environmental accountability should be viewed in tandem with the economic motivations of corporations.
At present, Brazil has one of the highest GHG emission rates in the world, but no official obligation to reduce these rates. The `Brazil Greenhouse Gas Protocol Program` promotes a voluntary commitment to international best practices in GHG abatement strategies.
The Protocol was created by the WBCSD and the World Research Institute for governments and businesses alike. In Brazil, the Environment Ministry, the Brazilian Council for Sustainable Development and Fundacao Getùlio Vargas partnered the aforementioned institutions to realize the formulation of the Brazil GHG Protocol Program. The WBCSD reported that there are twelve founding members of the Brazil GHG Protocol Program, including: Anglo American, Banco Do Brasil, Bradesco, CNEC, Copel, Natura, Nova Petroquímica, O Boticário, Petrobras, Sadia, Votorantim, and Wal-Mart Brasil.

By introducing this program, companies are pursuing a more environmentally responsible practice. Whilst the `Brazil GHG Protocol Program` shows a commitment to environmental change, the program is aligned with market economics in a fashion that will maximize the profit-making capability of corporations. Corporations will be able to identify areas for efficiency improvements and opportunities for carbon trading in international markets, furthering economic growth within corporations.
Carbon trading has been critiqued extensively since its inception within global markets. Among other things, concerns arise surrounding sources of windfall profits for polluting industries, a lack of reinvestment in green technology and for risks of social inequality. Whether such initiatives are pursued and whether this is at the expense of real environmental change or social equality will only become known after time and if the program is monitored and evaluated properly.
For now, we can only hope that this Brazilian initiative is as successful and responsible as its many other social and environmental programs. More information on the WBCSD initiative and the Brazil GHG Protocol Program can be found at http://www.wbcsd.org/templates/TemplateWBCSD5/layout.asp?MenuID=1