Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze has taken the decision to freeze financial assistance for for example forest and biodiversity conservation measures in Brazil. "The policies of the Brazilian government on the Amazon region call into question whether they are still pursuing the goal of consistently reducing deforestation rates. We need certainty on that account before we can continue project cooperation." A call for project proposals specifically designed for Brazil for a sum of up to 35 million has now been frozen.
Country calls are managed by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU). Since the call for projects was stopped at an early planning stage, no actual projects are affected.
The International Climate Initiative of the BMU dedicated considerable funding to projects in Brazil in the past. From 2008 to last year, about 95 million euros went to a large number of bilateral projects in Brazil. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze is concerned about current developments in Brazil. The support of political partners for projects is a prerequisite for cooperation with the IKI. With a view to the current situation, there are at least reasonable doubts whether this is the case. Against this background, no additional new projects will be funded for the time being. Every ongoing project will now have to be reviewed on the basis of whether the aim of the project can be achieved under current conditions.
The Federal Environment Ministry believes that Germany’s contributions to the Amazon Fund must now also be reviewed. Industrialised countries, for example Germany and Norway, and the Brazilian oil company Petrobras make substantial contributions to the fund, which the fund manages itself and invests in measures to reduce deforestation rates. However, the Ministry wants to coordinate the decision on how to proceed with the other donors and has already started this process.
We are concerned about current development in environmental and climate policies in Brazil.
The Brazilian government has reiterated its commitment to the Paris Agreement. However, it is even more important that Brazil effectively implement the climate targets pledged in the context of this agreement. The free trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur expressly confirms this obligation. The BMU considers the chapter on sustainable development an essential part of the free trade agreement. Currently, only preliminary drafts are available and are being reviewed by the BMU to ensure that the text complies with EU standards. There can be no new incentives for deforestation in South America. We are communicating these requirements to the Brazilian government, too.
Increasing deforestation rates are not only a problem for the global climate. It will harm Brazilian agriculture itself because deforestation destroys biodiversity, natural resources and water supply.