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You are here » Home Page » News » German Chamber of Commerce in Brazil

German Chamber of Commerce in Brazil

2011-09-07 source
The contribution of the German Chamber of Commerce

In 2000 the global market for environmental technologies amounted to US$ 505 billion. Germany was worldwide the leading exporter of environmental technologies and the country that registered the majority of all environmental patents in Europe.

Brazil is the largest environmental market in Latin America, reaching the US$ 2.9 billion in 2000. Due to the Brazil´s strategic importance in the international environmental scenario, German government established strong relationship with Brazil and became the most important partner in environmental recovery "government- to-government" programs. Since 1990 German Ministry for Cooperation (BMZ) allocated about US$ 250 million in local projects, covering areas such as: sanitation; waste management; clean technologies applications; environmental monitoring and consulting, among others. German government is equally the largest donator of the PPG-7 Program, an international initiative gathering the seven most developed nations and designed to preserve and recover the tropical forest in Brazil. 

The German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK) of São Paulo holds a worldwide leading position in issues concerning environmental protection. Aware of the growing importance of this sector, the AHK São Paulo was the first one in the world in creating an environmental department. Major focus of this department is to enhance the cooperation between Brazilian and German institutions, private companies and universities. In 1998, AHK launched the "1st Brazilian-German Guide on Environmental Technologies 1999-2000", a unique publication that describes the most important sectors of the Brazilian environmental market. In the following year, the Chamber published the "Mercosur Environmental Guide", covering the environmental market opportunities in the Mercosur region, including Chile and Bolivia. To promote the growing sector of renewable energies in Brazil, the Chamber organized in 1999 the "1st Brazilian-German Forum on Renewable Energies and Water Resources" in the State of Ceará. The forum was the largest international event ever held in Brazil on this sector. On the governmental level, AHK was a key-player in a series of cooperation agreements signed between Brazilian and German state-governments. The German Chamber is also commitet to promote the concept of sustainable development among its members. In December 1999, after implementing an environmental management system, the Chamber obtained the certification in the ISO 14001 Norm. AHK is currently the first Chamber of Commerce in the world certified in this international environmental norm.

The German Chamber of Commerce´s major task is to promote the bilateral trade and the technology transfer between Brazil and Germany. Due to the growing economic and technical importance of the enviromental market, AHK São Paulo elected this sector as one of our major potential markets to be covered in our activities. The Brazilian-German cooperation in the environmental field was the most important theme of the Chamber stand on the EXPO 2000 in Hannover. 

Environmental protection became a global concern during the last years and represents an important trend in the strategy of the German Chamber. The climate change and the global warming process are currently environmental issues of major concern. The following two international documents should establish the guidelines for the future development of this sector:

a) The Climate Convention, published during the ECO 92 Summit in Rio de Janeiro, discussing the global warming and the greenhouse effect; and 

b) The Kyoto Protocol, released in 1997, discussing the trade of "emission reduction certificates" through a mechanism named Clean Development Mechanism - CDM. The CDM allows the transfer of financial resources from companies located in countries that agreed on emission reduction (developed countries) to companies established in countries that have a lower cost for implementing emission reduction (developing countries). The emission reduction certificates may be traded through banks or on the stock exchange market. The CDM should allow Brazilian companies to trade their emission reduction certificates - assuming that the projects were certified by internationally accredited companies.

In the protocol of the last "Brazil-Germany Joint Comission Meeting", held in November 1999 in Brazil, the German Chamber announced the intention to identify local projects which potentially could be developed, implemented and/or traded under the guidelines established by the CDM. To accomplish with this task, the Chamber plans to establish the "Climate Change Committee", a group of renowned professionals active in different areas of the environmental market. The major forecasted activities of the German Chamber, supported by its Climate Change Committee, are:

a) Disseminate general information on the Chamber´s activities related to the CDM;
b) Identify and proceed preliminar evaluation of potential pilot projects;
c) Brief local and foreign potential investors (companies, banks, pension funds, etc) on potential opportunities;
d) Cooperate with local and foreign governmental institutions in setting the guidelines of the CDM;
e) Establish strategic alliances to assure the feasibility of the projects; and 
f) Identify potential "buyers" of emission reduction certificates.

The Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF) of the World Bank estimates that the trade of emission reduction certificates should amount approximately US$ 8 billion by the year 2005. Brazil is undoubtedly the country which holds the major potential for implementing environmetal projects designed to sink the amount of carbon dioxide emissions.

Based on its previous experience in the Brazilian environmental sector, the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in São Paulo expects to be one of the key-players in this fast-growing market.

Ricardo Rose
Director, Environmental Department

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