• logo linkedin
  • logo email
Curitiba, Brasil
Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon, a major buffer in the global fight against climate change, has fallen by close to a third compared with the same period last year. This breathes new life into efforts to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and comes as AFD announced a €150 million loan for sustainable infrastructure in Brazil - a first. The good news puts wind in the sails of governments and development banks as they prepare for September's Finance in Common Summit (FICS), in Colombia.

Brazil is back.” With this powerful message, Vanessa Santos from the Brazilian Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management kicked off the round table event organized on June 15 by AFD and the Brazilian Development Association (ABDE) on “Building a sustainable and inclusive future”. This commitment made by Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva’s government “means that we plan to play a major role in all fields related to climate and development.” This further demonstrates how important these issues are for the South American country, which has ambitious plans for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set for 2030.

To this end, the partnerships established between the 34 public development banks (PDBs), the private financial sector and international financial institutions such as AFD should prove essential. 

During the round table discussion, Lætitia Dufay, AFD’s Regional Director for Brazil and the Southern Cone, commended Brazil’s unique financial system: “The Brazilian network demonstrates remarkable strength and diversity, with a capacity for renewal, as well as overcoming challenges and multidimensional changes. Globally, it’s one of a kind.”

Brazil’s reindustrialization program must be green

This should be an advantage at a time when the country has set new reindustrialization targets, following a significant decrease in the share of national wealth represented by industry. “Looking at the GDP data for industry, there has been an 11% drop compared to 2011. This represents a very sharp decline in industrialization and a loss of technological diversity among our industries,” says Mauro Mattoso from the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES)

For the fifteen or so financial leaders who attended the event, it is essential that Brazil’s reindustrialization program is green, and systematically takes into account greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, adaptation to climate change and the economic and social inclusion of the most vulnerable communities. 

See also: Sustainable Infrastructure to Build a World in Common

The financial sector and PDBs have a crucial role to play in encouraging Brazilian companies, particularly those in the agricultural sector, to incorporate the SDGs into their operations, while driving innovation at the same time. For example, José Ricardo Sasseron, Chief Government Affairs and Sustainability Officer for the Banco do Brasil, noted that the Brazilian Federation of Banks recently adopted “a system to ensure the traceability of livestock, so that slaughterhouses do not buy animals bred on farms associated with deforestation.” For his part, Mauro Mattoso from BNDES announced the creation “within the next eighteen months, of a GHG emissions calculator for agriculture and livestock, which will be used to draft public policy encouraging livestock farmers to adopt lower-emission practices.” 

Cooperation between Brazilian public development banks and international partners such as AFD is seen as crucial to making progress on the 2030 Agenda. As substantial funds are needed to finance projects that contribute to the SDGs, it is imperative that Brazilian PDBs diversify their resources by enlisting the support of international donors. Moreover, these relationships will lead to the development of new collaborative and innovative models that can speed up the process of redirecting financial flows towards sustainable investments.

AFD, a key donor for Brazilian PDBs

Several participants at the round table event emphasized the importance of partnerships with AFD, such as the €150 million loan agreement signed between Banco do Nordeste and AFD in Fortaleza, in June 2023, to finance sustainable infrastructure. “This is a total first for AFD in Brazil,” said Marie-Hélène Loison, Deputy CEO of AFD.

This agreement is fully aligned with the partnership between AFD and ABDE (Brazilian Development Association). AFD has been supporting ABDE with the process of incorporating the SDGs into the strategies of public banks since 2022.

Edmilson Gama, Financial Director of the Development Bank of Minas Gerais (BDMG) cited another example. In line with SDG 3 “Good Health and Wellbeing”, BDMG has helped to finance, for health infrastructure in municipalities in the state of Minas Gerais, a program that has directly benefited 52,000 people. Part of the financing for these projects came from a line of credit granted by AFD during the Covid-19 pandemic. “We needed funding. AFD had the awareness to support us at an uncertain time, and we are profoundly grateful. ”

See also: Public-Private Partnerships Drive Sustainable Development in Brazil’s South-East 

Preparations for the fourth FICS summit in September

A strategic agreement is required to achieve the 17 SDGs by 2030, as many challenges lie ahead. To facilitate project development and implementation, the attendees identified two possible areas for improvement. Firstly, helping local authorities better formulate their investment projects, particularly in complex sectors such as water and sanitation; and secondly, working towards a consensus-based, sustainable investment taxonomy to facilitate the signing of agreements between local, national and international partners. 

These discussions will undoubtedly feed into the debates at the fourth Finance in Common summit (IV FICS), to be held from September 4 to 6, 2023 in Cartagena, Colombia. This is the first time that the meetings for this global platform, launched in 2020 to promote green, sustainable and inclusive development, will be held in Latin America. “The FICS summit would be meaningless without the widespread attendance of Brazilian PDBs. The Brazilian financial system must make its voice heard at this event, and demonstrate to the international community its immense power to drive sustainable development,” says Marie-Hélène Loison. This would also provide further proof that Brazil is back as a major player on the international stage.