I have high expectations about COP26. If we want to leave a better world for current and future generations, we can no longer delay defining bold, coordinated and effective measures for change. Above all, COP26 must agree on the implementation of an international regulated carbon market linked to the Paris Agreement, establishing an economic instrument that is capable of driving concrete action to remove carbon from the atmosphere on a global scale.
Joining the global Cap and Trade model (which Suzano strongly advocates) will offer a viable alternative for reversing the carbon emissions curve. It will also facilitate a mechanism to honour public commitments, or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and accelerate the decarbonisation of the global economy. At the same time, it will help drive an agenda of global investments in decarbonisation, with significant implications for sustainable social development worldwide.
At Suzano we hope COP brings immediate action and progress on a carbon market before we reach a point of no return for the environment. The capture of carbon dioxide by trees is part of this equation, and Suzano, as a natural capital company, understands the important role it plays in protecting and generating value from trees. The company also has potential to generate carbon credits and is climate positive – meaning that besides offsetting greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations and its value chain, the company removes more carbon than it emits.
The adoption of an international carbon market could generate diverse opportunities for low-carbon assets and products. It could turn Brazil into a champion in this market, generating income, attracting investments for preservation efforts and creating sustainable development alternatives for local communities, including the people living in the Amazon region.
The expansion of our forest bases, whether for planting or for conserving native forests, plays an important role in the company’s ability to increase carbon sequestration from the atmosphere. At the same time, we are committed to reducing our equivalent emissions: the more Suzano produces, the higher its positive impact on the world will be.
Will COP help change corporate behaviour? I would argue consumers are changing corporate behaviour. Society is increasingly concerned about its role in building a more sustainable future and this is driving changes in corporate behaviour. People are concerned about consuming products from renewable sources, especially recyclable and biodegradable materials which cause less impact on the planet and this is mobilising companies, governments, investors and society as a whole.
Suzano is on the right side of the equation since our products are developed from trees planted for this purpose. In other words, a raw material derived from renewable resources that can replace fossil-based products. We want to offer ten million tons of products from renewable origin by 2030 to help replace petroleum-based products. We are also constantly pursuing new avenues for developing products from planted trees, including textile fibres as alternatives to cotton.