Peter Wilson, the UK ambassador to Brazil since July 2020, is committed to announcing Cop26 (the UN Climate Change Conference), which will be based in Scotland in November, as well as the Race to Zero campaign, which aims to eliminate net greenhouse gases. Emissions by 2050. Last week, after a hypothetical conversation in which he secured environmental commitments from Recife’s mayor, João Campos, gave an interview to the Journal de Comercio. Wilson already served as ambassador to the Netherlands and was his country’s representative in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) until 2020. He also held diplomatic posts at the UK Mission to the United Nations, in New York, Beijing, Islamabad and Brussels. He speaks Mandarin and French fluently and devoted himself to learning Portuguese. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School and a degree in modern history from Oxford University.
Jornal do Commercio – You are in a series of conversations with the Northeast authorities. What is the purpose of these meetings?
Peter Wilson – I have virtual meetings with the mayors of Recife, João Pessoa and Maceió to strengthen ties between the UK and their cities. I’d also like to encourage you to officially join the Race to Zero campaign. Recife mayor, João Campos, signed during our meeting to join the campaign. This year the UK will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) and we are working with all countries, including Brazil, but also countries, cities and companies to encourage commitments and ambitious action for the climate. These virtual visits are part of my first post with the region in this regard.
Jimmy Carter – How was the conversation with the mayor of Recife, Joao Campos?
PW- The conversation with the mayor was very fruitful. I was happy to follow Recife’s official commitment to the Race to Zero campaign, a global campaign for the United Nations to gather voluntary commitments from governments, companies and the local community to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. The UK was the first country in the world to commit to zero emissions and we’re partnering Recife the vision that being pioneers opens up development and job opportunities for our people in the new green global economy. We talked about the cooperation we already have between the British government and the city of Recife, and when we both took office recently, our mutual desire to strengthen these relationships even further.
The United Kingdom was the first country in the world to commit to zero emissions. We share with Recife the vision that being pioneers opens up opportunities for development and jobs
JC – What are the partnership projects between Recife or Pernambuco State with the British government?
PW – We have some projects with the city and the state: one of them aims to improve the efficiency of water and wastewater services management in the metropolitan region of Recife, through the use of innovative technologies to control water losses in the supply network, and to improve access to these services for all residents. Recife will also host the UK-Brazil Technology Center, which aims to support the development of the Brazilian digital ecosystem through digital skills formation, entrepreneurship and global partnerships. Another project aims to develop a Port Community System (PCS), a platform that aims to facilitate the flow of information between the various actors in the port community, in order to simplify the implementation of Suape port operations and increase the flow. Trading. In the field of education, we are excited to see many people from Pernambuco who have had the opportunity to study in the UK through our scholarship program, Chevening, and we want to increase the participation of Northeastern University representatives.
Jimmy Carter – A group of 24 governors recently initiated a letter to the US ambassador criticizing the Bolsonaro government over the way it is dealing with climate issues and also proposing a direct agreement with state governments aimed at strengthening environmental protection. Environment. Was there a similar department in the British embassy? If so, what referral will be provided?
As host of COP26, we are in dialogue with governments at all levels – federal, state and municipal, as well as the private sector and civil society. We understand that tackling climate change is everyone’s duty, not the agenda of one government or another, and we will only be able to move forward effectively if everyone is on board. I can embody our close relationship with the Amazon Union, in order to understand the challenges of the region, support actions to combat deforestation and support sustainable economic development in these countries. In addition, in recent months we have entered into cooperation agreements with the governors of Minas Gerais and São Paulo to support the decarbonization of the state’s economies and also their participation in this same campaign, The Race to Zero.
JC – How has the British government handled the climate issue? In this context, what is the relationship with the Brazilian government, which has received international criticism regarding environmental issues?
PW – The UK believes climate change is one of the biggest challenges we need to face as a civilization. That is why, as the chair of the upcoming COP, we want to contribute to broadening the public debate on climate change here in Brazil, and work with actors at all levels – governments, the private sector, academia, civil society and the press – to shine light on this debate based on scientific evidence. As Chairs of COP26, we can consider it successful if we successfully complete negotiations on the final sections of the Paris Agreement, but especially if we can take a turn to implement and work in the real world, taking the Paris Agreement out of paper. This is our main goal.
It was important to see Brazil’s announcement at the recent US Climate Leaders Summit, where the country predicted its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, predicted the previous signal within ten years, and eliminated illegal deforestation until 2030. It is also important to move forward with concrete measures and we will continue to cooperate with Brazil towards COP26. We recognize that international cooperation is vital to advancing the cause of climate change. Brazil is an important partner in this endeavor and cannot be overlooked, as it plays an essential role.
It was important to see Brazil’s announcement at the Climate Leaders Summit in the United States, as the country predicted its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by 10 years.
Jimmy Carter – Despite all the rhetoric, developed countries have not reached the promise of an annual transfer of US $ 100 billion by 2020 for climate measures in poor countries, according to a United Nations report. How can this gap be compensated? What are the emergency measures to stop climate change?
Funding is a major issue for the UK presidency at COP26. We will work to strengthen political commitment and, at the same time, improve access to finance in developing countries. But funding isn’t just for countries. We want to increase and facilitate all forms of financing. In this sense, private finance plays a critical role in a successful transition to a carbon-free economy. We will work with the private and financial sectors and investors to ensure that all financial decisions take climate change into account.
In terms of the public sector, International Climate Finance (ICF) in the UK has already supported more than 100 countries, including Brazil, and is helping to reduce or avoid a total of 16 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That equates to taking 3.3 million passenger cars off the road for a year. But we will do a lot more than that. We pledge to double the value of ICF to 11.6 billion pounds sterling over the next five years to support developing countries. In Brazil alone, we are running major programs aimed at combating deforestation, improving livelihoods and reducing emissions totaling £ 259 million.
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