Brazil will send South America’s largest delegation to the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign (CCP), which comprises 550 municipalities throughout the world and will convene in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from December 6 to 17.
The CCP, which was created by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), will meet at the same time as the 10th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 10) to the UN Framework Convention on Climatic Changes.
The UN meeting, which will be attended by heads of State, will serve as a forum to discuss the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, which, after seven years of negotiations, was finally brought to life when Russia signed on this month.
In the parallel event, the cities will debate the Clean Development Mechanisms, which will strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GEE).
According to the technical manager of the CCP, Margarita Parra, controlling global warming is a global problem, but local solutions can contribute to the reduction of gas emissions.
The Latin American participants in the campaign include two cities in Argentina, seven cities in Brazil, seven cities in Mexico, and one each in Chile and Colombia.
Parra remarked that these cities, each in accordance with local reality, have been searching for preventive measures and solutions in the battle against urban pollution.
At the meeting in December, the municipalities will present local solutions, steps to help reduce pollution, and exchange information.
The Brazilian cities that participate are São Paulo, Betim, Goiânia, Porto Alegre, Palmas, Rio de Janeiro, and Volta Redonda.
Parra highlights the activities of three Brazilian cities within the CCP – São Paulo, Betim (state of Minas Gerais), and Porto Alegre – because they develop programs for gas reduction and operate with environmental preservation goals.
“The campaign to protect the climate has become an important item on the agenda of these cities, which have formed teams that are advancing in the need for pollution control,” Parra explained.
Among the successful programs, Parra cites the project in São Paulo to generate electricity in the Bandeirantes Landfill from gas produced by the decomposition of organic wastes.
In Betim, she points to the selective garbage collection and recycling campaign involving paper and inorganic materials. In Porto Alegre, urban pollution is being handled through the substitution of gasoline by vehicular natural gas in the city’s taxi fleet.
According to the UN, Porto Alegre offers the best quality of life in all Brazil. The city possesses an average of 14.9 square meters of green area per inhabitant and around 46 square meters of natural parks, as well as an environmental reserve within the city limits.
The CCP representative thinks that the UN meeting in Argentina will be very significant, bearing in mind that the Kyoto Protocol will take effect next year.
Russia’s adhesion completes the conditions of the protocol, which requires ratification of the agreement by at least 55 of the countries that signed the UN Framework Convention on Climatic Changes at the Eco-92.
The Kyoto Protocol stipulates that the rich countries should reduce their emissions of carbon gas by 5% between 2008 and 2012, with the levels in 1990 serving as a parameter.
Translator: David Silberstein