(30 June 2021) The Environment Commission (CMA) of the Federal Senate of Brazil and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) remotely held on June 30 the international seminar “Just transition: strategies for a sustainable recovery”. The seminar took place in the context of the CMA's “June Green” Environment Month celebrations.
The seminar's central theme, just transition, has gained relevance in the construction of sustainable recovery strategies in several countries. The unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the existence of deep development structural gaps and caused a serious public, economic and social health crisis in Brazil, Latin America and the world. It has become increasingly clear that a transformative recovery with equality and sustainability is needed.
Countries face a unique opportunity to build a post-pandemic economic reactivation that structurally reorients the economy through job and income generation, promoting social justice, recovering natural capital and reducing environmental impacts.
In this context, the seminar sought to catalyze a dialogue between world leaders on sustainable recovery proposals and become a forum for the exchange of policy proposals, creating momentum for just climate action.
The objective of the seminar was to raise awareness of the importance of climate justice as an explicit component of sustainable recovery strategies worldwide. Participating in the discussions were Senator Jaques Wagner (Chair of the Brazilian Senate Environment Committee), Senator Confúcio Moura (Vice Chair of the Brazilian Senate Environment Committee), Senator Fabiano Contarato (Vice Chair of the Commission on Human Rights of the Brazilian Senate), Mario Cimoli (Deputy Executive Secretary of ECLAC), Gladys Esther González (Chair of the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee of the Senate of Argentina), José Manuel Fernandez (Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and President of the European Parliamentary Group for Brazil), Jürgen Trittin (Member of the German Parliament (Bundestag) and Vice President of the German-Brazil Parliamentary Group) and, by recorded video, Edward Markey (Senator and Representative of Massachusetts in the US Senate).
For Senator Jaques Wagner, “we are working hard in the Senate and in the CMA so that the sustainable recovery promotes a just transition that reduces the crippling inequalities in our country, that is, a transition with environmental, social and economic sustainability. We created the Ecological Generation Forum in the Senate Environment Committee to study measures that could become a legislative framework for a green plan for Brazil.”
According to Mario Cimoli, “for ECLAC, there is only one possible recovery, which is a sustainable and transformative recovery. And this is part of a single process, made up of strong policy coordination for a big push for sustainability, with strong investments, job creation and public-private partnerships. ECLAC is ready to support this agenda."
For Gladys Esther González, “a clearer vision of sustainability in recovery policies is needed. If we want Argentina to be carbon neutral by 2050, in addition to leaving no one behind, so that developing countries like ours do not leave anyone behind, we need the international community not to leave anyone behind.”
According to José Manuel Fernandez, “it is an issue that has no borders. We are all connected and involved in global challenges. To meet the challenge [of climate change], everyone must do their part, in a coordinated way. I hope this seminar can increase our understanding and give a new dimension to interparliamentary cooperation.”
For Jurgen Trittin, “To help keep the planet below 1.5oC warming, international cooperation is urgently needed. I'm happy that we have the opportunity here to talk to each other, across the Atlantic, in a virtual way, but in the spirit that we have common and shared responsibilities to take the world on a warming trajectory below 1.5oC.”
According to Edward Markey, “Our strategy [in the United States] to combat the climate crisis and the injustices that come with it will depend on a strategic unity that needs every available hand to face this challenge shared by all of humanity. Working closely with our allies around the world, we can seek a safer, fairer and more prosperous future. I look forward to our collaboration as we work together.”
Senator Jaques Wagner introduced, which was received with enthusiasm, a proposal to create a parliamentary observatory, which promotes the exchange of experiences and legislative proposals, the follow-up and monitoring of legislative discussions and the oversight of government actions in the area of just transition.
The event, which was broadcasted live in Portuguese, Spanish and English, had a wide audience, with over five thousand views.
Access to the recording of the event: