Despite a noticeable overall progress, socio-economic improvements tend to favor large urban areas over rural spaces and indigenous communities. With substantially less funding directed towards the latter, little socio-environmental progress has been reported in smaller regions, including indigenous people’s lands, the Amazon and other local economies that depend upon agriculture for survival. The investment gap in Brazil is causing massive delays in mitigation plans, particularly in the sector(s) of transportation and ecosystem/biodiversity management. The national budget for climate change has been reduced by almost 40% since 2019, while the National Climate Change Fund, initially dedicated to eliminating illegal deforestation, pursuing renewable energy alternatives and reforesting the Amazon, has thus far spent unreasonably small amounts for facilitating such changes. With the national budget decreasing, less money is directed towards climate change; donors of the Amazon Fund have paused their investments under the new government structure (since 2019).
Unfortunately, limited funding affects the entire Global South, with an estimated investment gap of $2.5 trillion. Low-carbon technologies and climate-resilient actions will continue to be out of reach, unless investments are significantly increased; implementation of policies for tackling climate change have brought a marginal, at best, outcome.
Such are the challenges addressed by the three guest speakers invited to discuss issues around financing in their video contributions for the project 'Brazilian Voices on the Road to COP26', by the Environment, Energy and Sustainability Research Cluster at King’s Brazil Institute. They point to specific areas of concern in the Brazilian context and to key discussions at COP26 that may define the next decades.
Luciana Ziglio, researcher and specialist in waste management, kicks off the video series by drawing attention to the recycling industry, pointing out that 11% of the methane generated worldwide comes from the urban solid waste sector. Ziglio, however, focuses on the often-overlooked role performed by recyclable material waste pickers, a category that is crucial for recycling efforts in Brazil and Latin America, in general. This provides an example of the kind of global to local connection that must be considered and planned for at COP26, as well as the socially inclusive strategies that must be employed in the financing of actions against climate change.