Engajamundo’s Climate Working Group prepared and submitted a proposal for what should be the Brazilian INDC (intended Nationally Determinated Contribution) to be presented by the national government in view of the new global climate agreement adopted at UNFCCC COP 21, in Paris. To do so, we have detailed the different types of sectoral actions the government could take to present an ambitious goal. Building on this work, we have conducted an online awareness campaign targeted at Brazilian youth, while pressing our government to adopt such sustainable practices. The main outcome of the campaign was to empower and take 10 young representatives of eight states in Brazil to the federal capital, Brasilia, to talk about the importance of youth participation in the decision-making of climate change programs and policies and present our proposed INDC directly to representatives of the highest executive branch of government. The campaign was carried out between July and September 2015.
Start a more open and face to face dialogue with the Brazilian government with the goal of engaging the Brazilian youth more actively in the drafting and implementation of the Brazilian climate commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Our main goal was to present our INDC proposal to ministries and the congress and discuss how Brazil could set up an ambitious goal to be presented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Our reasoning for doing so is our belief that inter-ministerial cooperation and dialogue between the executive and legislative powers will be critical to the national implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.
HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED
We had meetings with the eight ministries and with representatives of the legislative power, in which we presented specific lobby points to pressure these actors to adopt measures aiming an ambitious and feasible INDC by the Brazilian government, besides ensuring that civil society strongly participates in the drafting and implementation of policies and actions related to climate change. Engajamundo has as one of its pillars the participation of Brazilian youth in decision-making spaces, especially international spaces. So we asked in the campaign and we got the appointment of a young representative of civil society as the focal point responsible for the implementation of education and public awareness programmes on climate change, UNFCCC Article 6. We consider this article a priority for youth, since it sums up our main aspirations: more education, access to information and public participation in climate issues.
Engajamundo was the only youth organisation in the world to prepare an INDC proposal and this was our main innovative feature. Besides, the multi sectoral approach was an innovative element of the campaign, since we hold meetings with 8 ministries covering virtually all sectors involved in Brazilian climate policies. We adopted a holistic view of what are the main challenges and difficulties faced by the government in the design and implementation of policies, programs and actions to combat climate change. Another innovative point was the face-to-face dialogue with the government: the Minister of Environment and the Minister of Mines and Energy, had never received a youth organization in their office before our campaign.
As a result of the "Advocacy Tour", formal communication channels were established with representatives from eight ministries with which we had meetings. It is expected that such routes allow greater openness of executive power so that civil society can have a higher influence in the decision-making related to climate change issues. Regarding the legislative, we expect greater participation in events, debates and reports of the Parliamentary Environmentalist Front, which has the commitment to work together with civil society, to support government initiatives and non-governmental organizations aimed at achieving sustainable patterns of development. The campaign also included the mobilization and support of hundreds of young Brazilians, thus increasing awareness of young people about the importance of the topic and public participation.
One of our main challenges was to set up meetings with certain ministries. In Brazil, the dialogue between civil society and the government is still relatively small, to overcome this barrier has required much effort and political coordination of everyone involved in the project. Another challenge was to communicate climate change in a way that is appealing to the young audience. But we overcame this barrier with our "Sexify" methodology, which involves dynamic and engaging language. The biggest challenge faced to link the national debate to the international agenda was to identify which ministries are key for the climate agenda, as some ministries have little or no involvement in the international process neither have a concrete agenda at the national level, besides not clearly realizing the impact of their policies on climate change. Our Lobby Points have shown these governmental actors how they can contribute for the Brazilian transition to a low carbon economy.
We have learned that with political articulation, pro-activity and leadership we can change our reality. Brazil is a natural sanctuary, thus discussing climate change impacts and possible mitigation and adaptation measures is of utmost importance. Civil society, especially young people, have an unimaginable transformation power, and during our project could attest to that. The first step is to engage ourselves. Civil society cannot be considered a villain in political and economical decision-making processes related to climate change. On the contrary, this sector can be an ally in the construction of sustainable alternatives in the path to new forms of personal and collective behavior towards our planet.