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Fundação Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Submission Document: Download
  • Additional Document:

Guidelines for a Green Economy

Submission to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

Rio de Janeiro, 4-6 June 2012

The FBDS is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1992 by 24 major business groups whose prime objective is to promote sustainable development. FBDS¡¦s mission is to spread best practices in sustainability and environmental management through knowledge generation, contributions to public policy formulation, and implementation of consulting projects, in order to influence key stakeholders.

In 2011, the FBDS has led a nationwide effort in conjunction with major Brazilian corporations with the purpose of detect barriers and set up guidelines for the transition to a green economy1, based on the report Towards a Green Economy (UNEP). The process involved the academy, corporations, and discussions with major stakeholders and produced a set of recommendations to government and corporations. Those relevant to the Rio+20 context were selected and are now being submitted to the UNCSD2012 to be taken into account for the ¡§zero draft¡¨ document.

The Conference should encourage countries to adopt the following guidelines in the energy, water resources, transport, solid waste, agriculture, forests, and finance areas when developing their domestic policies:


- To quantify GHG emissions from fossil fuel, and take actions intended to incorporate the externality costs of such energy option for suppliers and consumers, as a form of encouraging a more rational use of those sources of energy, through the regulation and/or market mechanisms.

- To develop a renewable sources market (wind and solar energy, small hydroelectric power stations, biomass) in the mid and long term, making them more competitive and ensuring remuneration for investors, cutting risks and bringing more investors to this area. In addition to specific auctions for renewable energy suppliers, potential options include feed-in tariffs and other tax methods aimed at promoting positive impacts linked to renewable energies.

- Governments and multilateral credit entities should promote the increasing use of biofuels, with programs that encourage offering and enabling the technological changes required by the demand. It is important to use the best practices in the industry without affecting each country¡¦s main ecosystems.

- To develop the research on renewable energy sources to be applied in industrial processes, urban solutions, facilities, etc. Governments should develop a tax system intended to encourage research and corporate investment in training skilled professionals in this area, in addition to offering adequate resources for the realization of these goals.

efficient equipment, and installing of intelligent home meters are actions considered crucial by specialists for promoting energy efficiency. Governments should be more restrictive regarding the commercialization of inefficient equipment.

- Overall access to good quality energy (and renewable energy, whenever possible) is critical for social inclusion. Programs intended to abolish energy exclusion can improve the quality of life of populations with low human development index, while creating higher energy efficiency by reducing the consumption of less efficient energy sources, like firewood.

Water Resources

- To tax water consumption, whenever and wherever possible, respecting the characteristics and limitations of each region, as a way of encouraging efficient actions regarding its use. The permanent measurement of water consumption, in addition to measures to fight its illegal use, is a crucial action to rationalize the employ of water resources.

- Resources obtained from water consumption taxation should be invested in incentives aimed at basin recovery and waters supply protection. Additional incentives worth investment include environmental services aimed at safeguarding watersheds, protecting riparian Forest, and reforesting degraded areas.

- Water resources should be managed in a decentralized and transparent system with the ability to implement management and regulation of economic tools and methodologies intended to survey the various uses of said resources.

- Since irrigation is a key factor when it comes to the use of water resources, with considerably inefficient processes, it is important to use more efficient irrigation techniques which rationalize water consumption and draw on local expertise.

- Sewage collection and treatment systems are critical for protecting water resources and their long-term availability, thus preserving the quality of drinking water. Nations must universalize their sanitation systems through different solutions aligned with local characteristics and needs.


- To develop a governance model in the freight transport sector which better defines the accountabilities and responsibilities of sectorial policy makers on planning and regulation, of executive agents, establishing additional control and incentives so that businesses and individuals may use newer, more efficient vehicles, and the tax system may discourage inefficient corporate logistic decisions.

- To boost investments in transport facilities and adjust them to the domestic needs (especially in developing countries) using more efficient forms of transport whenever possible, focusing mainly on the planning activity (by developing the capability of the various modes and of intermodal transport integration), on the execution (using more sustainable and durable goods, respecting the labor law and offering skilled manpower training), and taking into consideration the need of maintenance and inspection for the adequate use of transport systems.

- Urban mobility should be planned in conjunction with land use occupation, encouraging the supply of public and private services near major intermodal integration stations, and the rational displacement of city inhabitants. The planning should also include incentives for rational use of private vehicles, collective transport quality inspection, and the optimization of the various modes, so as to explore the capabilities of each mode and their complementarities.

- Fare integration, together with system predictability and information available to users (like the time it takes to arrive to bus stops or train stations) ¡V and the exclusive use of urban facilities in some cases ¡V should prevail in public transportation, thus encouraging the use of public transportation system instead of private transportation.

Solid Waste

- To promote the integrated management of urban solid waste, taking into account the solid waste management hierarchy (non generation, reuse, recycling, composting, final disposal), specific characteristics of each location; to plan the integration of the entire chain involved on a long term basis, and to train local management teams.

- The solid waste management improvement should take into consideration the activity of low income people who make their living from inadequate waste disposal processes. With the implementation of selective collection, volunteer delivery sites and the entire well-planned recycling chain, these people could be included in the process, thus adding to the enhanced use of recycled material and the upgrading the living conditions of such workers.

- It is necessary to invest in the improvement of databases, which should contain reliable information showing the real situation of cities, and enabling the quantification of the goals to be attained, including the amount of required investments. This could facilitate waste management planning in individual countries and the establishment of goals to be met.

- All agents (communities and both the private and public sector) involved should be aware of their shared responsibility in waste management. This awareness should not simply refer to information, but rather to a cultural change as well, since some good practices, like food waste reduction and choosing more durable or reusable goods, have not been quite well perceived yet by part of the population. It is important to promote green consumption policies among individuals, corporations and public entities, with consumption goals for products made with recycled material, whenever feasible.

- To propose motivational actions to the recycling industry, including the development of industrial clusters for these activities and lower taxes for recycled products.

- Setting goals for the acquisition of recycled material goods, especially for major state-owned corporations and governments. This practice would be influential in the public sector by showing the best practices to be adopted by other businesses when purchasing their products.

- To take into consideration, whenever feasible, the incineration of nonorganic and nonrecyclable waste associated with steam and/or energy generation, especially in big cities, and invest in composting and biomethanization for the correct use of naturally biodegradable organic waste.


- To improve actions related to the use of technologies intended for agricultural production sustainability, offering incentives to producers adopting good agronomic practices planned to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to improving the productive processes and rearranging the energy matrix with the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

- To increase the industry competitiveness, intensifying technological developments in sustainable production systems, soil-plant system, microbiology and recovery of degraded areas.

- To improve the quality of agricultural products: the market requires special products with a low degree of impact on the environment which causes no risks to human health from chemical contamination (pesticide remnants) and biological contamination (presence of pathogenic microorganisms).

- To improve the production processes and rearrange energy matrices with the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

- To offer compensation for environment services provided by small farmers or family farming. Farmers should be rewarded for preserving the environment either with payment in money or with production incentives.

- Implementation of studies on Climate Risk Zones as a basis for a public policy focused on an efficient production regionalization.

- To establish special lines of credit to benefit the modernization of properties, offering a climate insurance coverage to farmers in investment operations, based on the Climate Risk Zones.


- Governments should encourage businesses to adopt decentralized policies for developing the forest base, with the purpose of avoiding extensive monoculture and increasing the participation of farmers in its supply, promoting social inclusion.

- To further the consumption of forest chain products as an alternative to the mineral chain. To issue a nationwide campaign showing the environment edges arising from the energetic use of planted forests.

- Governments should work together with forest management organizations in order to denounce and prevent degrading work practices or any other questionable social practices.

- Deforestation is a major source of GHG emissions, mainly in tropical developing countries. Therefore, it is very important to develop new projects, and consolidate and integrate existing ones, which seek to generate income from the maintenance of forests and protected areas. The main initiative at this moment is the payment for environmental services (particularly REDD), which promotes economic incentives for environmental preservation.

- To create strategies that foster sustainable use of natural resources and the development of forestry activities (such as sustainable forest management), associated with social inclusion programs. Governments should also create incentives for the implementation of technologies that improve the productivity of non-wood forest goods, including technical assistance to small-scale producers.

- It is essential to plan the expansion of agricultural activity to occur primarily in already modified or degraded areas, thus preventing the clearing of new locations. In order to succeed in this effort, governments should enforce preservation laws, consolidate a network of protected areas and promote the use of more advanced technologies for the management of agriculture and livestock, restoring the productivity of abandoned or underutilized land.


- Development of green criteria applied to government fiscal incentives in times of crisis, so that the actions intended to reduce the impacts of economic slowdown on society do not include

environmentally predatory measures. The transition to a green economy requires a high amount of investment, and such anti-crisis packages are a helpful tool to do it.

- Increasing the financial support to infrastructure works in developing countries is a key factor to their sustainable development. However, governments should outfit their control and inspection institutions on a proportional basis (especially in the environmental sector) so that the benefits arising from such works are not overcome by the project's negative impacts.

 - A tax reform which promotes a clean technological innovation, the preservation of valuable natural resources, and the payment of environmental services, in addition to a social cost price internalization in goods and services, is a key factor for the financial system to allocate - on a optimum and sustainable basis - the resources available for investment and consumption. A system intended to foster sustainable materials and solutions in public purchase bids should also be considered an efficient strategy to encourage the private sector to adopt better practices.

- The finance system regulation should search and promote high social-environmental indicators solutions, punishing investments and financial resources applied to predatory solutions with a high social cost.

- Governments should encourage financial institutions to expand micro-credit participation in their portfolios, as a form of offering banking system benefits to disadvantaged people, thus promoting the development of entrepreneurial actions within those communities. It is crucial that such expansion comes together with education and information policies regarding the system operation and its risks.
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