Brazil inspires by example

I wanted to start this new year with more thoughts on carbon auditing.  I read the speech by Brazil’s President Lula Da Silva presented at the Copenhagen Summit on Global Warming in December, 2009.  He said:

Developed countries can no longer avoid sharing in the costs and sacrifices. Brazil believes that developing countries should equally be part of the solution. We have therefore made a significant offer at the negotiating table in COP15: an ambitious proposal to reduce by 2020 national CO2 emissions by between 36.1 percent and 38.9 percent. We have also committed to cutting deforestation in the Amazon by 80 percent over the same period. This year alone deforestation of the Amazon dropped 45.7 percent by comparison to 2008, a testament to Brazil’s earnestness. These proposed reductions in emissions from deforestation alone will be larger than those offered by many developing countries in Copenhagen. Such glaring disparities will have to be ironed out during negotiations.  (

What I am learning about our GHG audit is that what to measure and how to calculate is a matter of choice.  We are using the Clear Air-Cool Planet inventory.  It is a spreadsheet consisting of 108 columns to input data PER year.  We are trying to gather data back to 2001 because we made some serious improvements in our emissions sources (heating systems).  Many of those columns don’t apply to our campus (we are not an agriculture school with animals).  But just working on this one campus, I can see why cities and nations balk at this task of measuring.

What I admire the most about President Lula da Silva‘s comments is his inclusiveness–rich and developing countries must work together.  It is one planet.  If Brazil can set astounding goals of reducing deforestation by 80%, how can we here in the US and Missouri be inspired to set our own goals?  Once the FV audit is complete (deadline is now May 15th 2010), and we know where our emissions are, we can begin our own energy summit. Then we can set inspiring targets and take our place in the responsibility we all share to make a healthier world for future generations.  My goals are to operate with more renewable energy, like Brazil. We need you to help with this process.  To participate, please join Brian Bozek and the FV Campus Sustainability Committee (  I call out to the district to form committees on each campus so that we can collaborate with each other.  I look forward to hearing from those interested. Let’s make 2010 energizing!


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