By: Cassia Carvalho
The Brazil-U.S. Business Council (BUSBC) and International Policy Coalition for Sustainable Growth have an ongoing dialogue with the Brazilian government on ways to improve its regulatory framework to meet international standards on sustainability and environmental performance. The U.S. and Brazilian business communities have long placed sustainability at the center of the bilateral policy agendas.
This week, BUSBC for its 2020 U.S.-Brazil Connect Summit, hosted a high-powered event featuring President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations Ernesto Araújo and Minister of Economy Paulo Guedes, alongside their U.S. counterparts for (virtual) conversations that included U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Director of the U.S. National Economic Council Larry Kudlow. At the core of the discussions was how Brazil builds back in a more sustainable and inclusive way post-pandemic, while addressing global concerns regarding its environmental policies and deforestation. Green recovery is something every politician talks about, but few resource-rich countries have the urgency and scale of Brazil. At the Summit, Minister Guedes stressed that for recovery and growth for years to come, Brazil needs to accelerate much-needed structural reforms in order to open new frontiers for investments. Guedes recognized that environmental and sustainability risks raised by global investors need to be addressed by Brazil.
During the Summit, it was clear that Brazil recognizes how global financial markets can play a vital role in its recovery. An enabling framework, consistent with international obligations of institutional investors, may provide the conditions to attract sustainable investments. As a G20 member, Brazil, in partnership with the business community, has the opportunity to shape global environmental sustainability criteria and ensure that they are consistent with the country’s unique ecological endowment and development strategy, applicable to the vital food and land use systems, agrobiodiversity and tropical forestry.
Now is the time to engage with Brazil, a country of global and regional geopolitical benefits and consequences. Disengagement from the Brazilian economy will not improve environmental outcomes. Building on this dialogue with tangible commitments will deliver real benefits for the citizens of Brazil, U.S. and the world.
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