Dilma Rousseff and Angela Merkel, two of the most influent feminine leaders of the world according to Forbes Magazine, with experience in energy and state chiefs of countries with a lot of influence in international politics, will meet in august 19 and 20 over an extremely important agenda for the future of humanity: find effective ways to fight climate change.
Since Eco 1992, Brazil and Germany have shown leadership on the theme climate change. In Copenhagen, 2009, both countries had a key roll about the progress of the commitment with reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Since then, Germany has started an energetic revolution in order to become a low-carbon economy and Brazil was the country with the most expressive emission reduction through the battle against deforestation in Amazônia.
Angela Merkel has already demonstrated her desire to keep these efforts in the last meeting of G7, exercising crucial leadership so that the group of the richest countries in the world would have a clear position in favor of expressive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and transforming their economies into low-carbon economies. Dilma Rousseff has also assumed important commitments like the continuity of the battle against deforestation, going forward in the reforestation agenda and the introduction of new renewable energy sources that are not hydraulics, promoting diversification on the Brazilian energy matrix.
Despite these efforts, Angela Merkel and Dilma Rousseff, as well as their ministers of the environment, Barbara Hendricks and Izabella Teixeira, know that it takes a lot more to guarantee the success of the Paris Climate Agreement and to ensure a sustainable transition into low-carbon economies.
These two leaders, identified for their pragmatism and rationality, know that climatic science has exhaustively shown that in order to have good chances of limiting global warming in 2oC until the end of the century, we cannot let the carbon concentration in the atmosphere exceed 450 parts for million. They also know that the only way to stay in this limit is to create social, economic and technological conditions so that every country can cooperate with the global emissions reduction. The moment of introduction of these conditions is now, and Paris Agreement is the way to do it.
We expect that this week’s meeting of Angela Merkel and Dilma Rousseff means progress of the cooperation between Germany and Brazil over forests and energy, two crucial areas for climate stabilization, promotion of innovation and technological development, creation of jobs and reducing the lost in biodiversity. This signal would contribute for the achievement of more ambitious goals of reforestation and introducing a forest sustainability culture, along with all the social, economic and environmental benefits that it can bring.
We know that Angela Merkel and Dilma Rousseff are struggling with difficult conjunctures: one of them is trying to save the Euro and the other is facing a severe political and economic crisis. However, we cannot forget that humanity faces today the biggest challenge of all times. Conjectural problems and short run issues shouldn’t and can’t move us away from a long run planning anchored in responsible and urgent decisions over our future.
The feminine leadership in this critical and decisive moment is key to change history in favor of the planet’s climate and of the present and future generations. The signal of these two presidents about stablishing concrete long run goals and the commitment of turning near to zero the greenhouse gas emissions until the end of the century would be key to guarantee the success of the UNFCC negotiations in Paris in December. Angela Merkel and Dilma Rousseff have the opportunity to leave a legacy to humanity and show women’s leadership and transformational power.
Ana Toni directs the Institute of Climate and Society. Alice Amorim leads the climate change work of the GIP Group (Public Interest Management). Both collaborate with Nivela.
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