Cardoso Delivers Keynote at Inaugural GHG Forum in Brazil

“Climate change is no longer their problem. It’s now our problem,” said Fernando Henrique Cardoso, referring to climate change as a global issue that has surpassed the domain of industrialized countries.

Cardoso, a WRI board member and the President of Brazil from 1995 to 2003, casually addressed a crowd of close to 200 at the first forum on the GHG Protocol and greenhouse gas (GHG) management in Brazil on April 23, opting to speak while seated rather than from behind the podium used by the other speakers.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso, WRI board member and former President of Brazil
Cardoso’s participation drew the largest crowd of stakeholders – ranging from some of the most GHG-intensive industries to the largest banks and government agencies – to any similar event in the GHG Protocol’s developing country initiatives.

Votorantim Cimentos CEO Walter Schalka and representatives from the Ministry of Science and Technology and the University of Sao Paõlo also delivered keynote addresses. Representatives from Brazilian companies, including Bradesco - the largest private bank in Brazil - Petrobras, and Votorantim, that have implemented the GHG Protocol in the manufacturing, energy and financial sectors gave an overview of their experiences and of their business motivation for addressing GHG management.

The second half of the day featured presentations by WRI staff on the GHG Protocol and related programs in developing countries, and on the proposed Brazilian GHG accounting program by staff from the Fundação Getúlio Vargas, the WBCSD and its Brazilian affiliate Conselho Empresarial Brasileiro para o Desensvolvimento Sustentavel (CEBDS).

During the discussion session that followed, representatives from industry and from the environment ministry voiced support for the proposed program. Participants then moved into a technical discussion of GHG accounting issues, indicating a serious interest on the part of Brazilian companies to build capacity on implementing the GHG Protocol. The forum was sponsored by USAID, Bradesco, and the U.S. Consulate.

The partner organizations plan to use stakeholder feedback from the forum to shape the design of the prospective Brazilian GHG program. Pending consensus on key design features, an official program launch is anticipated later this year.