Inesc at COP 27: the organization has broadened its scope of action in the socioenvironmental agenda

03/07/2023, 4:48 PM (updated on 03/08/2023, 5:55 PM) | Estimated reading time: 15 min
Foto: KiaraWorth/ UNclimatechange

The 27th edition of the Conference of Parties, COP 27, will take place between 6 and 18 of November in Egypt, gathering member countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Considered the largest event on climate issues worldwide, the Conference is where negotiations to limit the rise in global temperatures take place.

With more than three decades acting on issues related to the environment, with special attention to the COPs, Inesc (Institute of Socioeconomic Studies) will bring forth issues regarding energy transition, policy on subsidies to fossil source, carbon market, climate change adaptation, rights of indigenous peoples, besides calling attention to the climate impacts of the Agreement between the European Union and Mercosur.

Energy transition with social justice

With the purpose of calling attention to the policy on subsidies to fossil fuels, Inesc will take part, along with other countries, in the panel “Financing the energy transition: the dangers of subsidies to fossil fuels and false solutions”, which will take place on November 16. On this occasion, we will release the fifth edition of the Study “Subsidies to fossil fuels in Brazil: know, assess and reform”.

Also on this issue, the panel “Connecting local energy projects to transparency and participation on the implementation of NDCs”, hosted on the same day, will show how Brazil is doing with regards to the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the energy sector. The NDCs indicate the targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions connected to the Paris Agreement. During the event, Inesc will comment on the results of the study ‘Brazil’s Energy Matrix and the Paris Agreement: Between lack of ambition and the many challenges of NDC implementation‘. Inesc is part of the organizing committee in both panels, which will take place in parallel to this year’s COP.

The organization will also be involved in activities of the Clean Energy Coalition: for an energy transition that is socially just and free from gas, in which it is a member of the executive coordination. Two events on energy transition, climate justice and reduction of inequality will be held at the Brazil Climate Action Hub.

Carbon market = license to pollute

Also at the Brazil Climate Action Hub, Inesc will take part in two other activities. Promoted by Grupo Carta de Belém, in which we are also part of the executive coordination, the panels will have the carbon market as a cross-sectional subject matter.

The first, expected to take place this Thursday (10th) will debate worries regarding the economic, socioenvironmental, climate and social effects of the trade liberalization provided for by the Agreement between Mercosur and the European Union. The second, which will take place on Friday (11th), will show what is at stake in the agricultural agenda. The purpose is to establish a connection between climate negotiations and biodiversity, including issues on biotechnology and financing.

There is only climate justice with the protection of Indigenous Peoples

On November 12, Inesc will take part in the “Global climate financing” roundtable, together with representatives from Ipam (Amazon Environmental Research Institute), Apib (Brazil’s Indigenous People Articulation), Emergent, and the Norwegian government. The roundtable will debate the urgency of targeting international efforts for climate financing to protect forests and indigenous peoples.

Inesc advocates for priority financing of projects thought out and managed by the indigenous communities themselves, whose role in fighting the climate crisis is the most evidenced. The tools created by Brazil’s native peoples for the preservation of their territories are included in the Environmental and Territorial Management Plans (PGTA in Portuguese), currently one of the main tools in the National Policy for the Territorial and Environmental Management of Indigenous Lands (PNGATI in Portuguese). This is the agenda Inesc will set forth.

Foto: Chiara Worth/UNclimatechange

Get to know Inesc’s trajectory in the socioenvironmental area

More than three decades in the defense of forests and the rights of indigenous peoples, quilombolas and traditional communities to their territories and ways of life 

Defense of a truly healthy and sustainable environment has always been in Inesc’s (Institute of Socioeconomic Studies) line of action. Since its foundation in 1979, the focus on environmental issues has been mixed with the insurance of rights and respect to all peoples, especially indigenous, quilombolas and traditional communities.

During Brazil’s redemocratization process, Inesc began a serious of historical landmarks that ensured its place in the forefront of the fight against the long-standing threat to the right to territories and ways of life that many Amazonian peoples had been facing.

Iara Pietricovsky, Bachelor in Social Sciences with post-graduate and masters’ degrees in Political Science, tells us this story. Along her trajectory, she gained experience researching indigenous populations, culture and development. With more than three decades acting before Inesc, Iara has always actively monitored socioenvironmental issues. As a member of the institution’s Management Board, she currently represents Inesc in international matters, especially the socioenvironmental and indigenous issues, as well as trade and development financing. Iara has been closely following the evolution of COP for 13 years.

How it all began

First National Rubber Tapper Meeting

Between 11 and 17 of October 1985, Inesc organized, together with Fundação Pró-memória, in the Ministry of Culture, the first National Rubber Tapper Meeting. The meeting was aimed at taking demands to government agencies and legislators. During this meeting, the National Rubber Tapper Council was created, a flagship entity for the category. After the event, Inesc and Fundação Pró-memória submitted the meeting’s documents to institutions like the Rubber Superintendence, besides offices of legislators committed to social causes.

“This was the beginning of the debate on the need to establish extractive reserves. The first came to be in 1990, after Chico Mendes’s death”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.

Civil society acting in environmental debates

National Constituent Assembly

On February 1st, 1987, the National Constituent Assembly was established, which led to Brazil’s current Federal Constitution, enacted on October 5, 1988.

“Inesc initially took part when a group of people, among them experts in Constitutional Law, drafted proposals for the Constitution. We were an important agent who supplied this group with various information, especially regarding indigenous, environmental, children’s, teenagers’ and agrarian rights, among others. These subjects were part of demands from social movements that organized to advocate that their rights should also be included in the new Constitution”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.

When the constituent process actually began, Inesc actively monitored the process along with other organizations connected to the indigenous agenda, such as the National Indigenous Union (UNI in Portuguese).

“We were very involved with indigenous issues, even taking part in the drafting of the text that is currently in our Federal Constitution. During the Constituent process, we raised our awareness on the environmental issue and began including it more consistently as a part of our strategic vision”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.

Collor Government

Brazil began reorganizing based on a democratic setting and, in 1990, Fernando Collor de Mello comes into office, promoting important changes in the public institution responsible for implementing the indigenous policy.

“There was a debate within civil society on removing the education and health issues from Funai [National Indigenous Foundation in Portuguese] and including them in their respective ministries, at the same time that proposals were set forth to strengthen the foundation by including it within the sphere of the Presidency. At the peak of this debate, Collor implemented the division that linked Funai to the Ministry of Justice without society being heard, and this considerably changed the strategy of indigenous and indigenist organizations”.  Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.

Parallel to this issue, this is the government that proposed Rio-92 be hosted in Brazil.


After the Stockholm Conference of 1972 – as became known the first great United Nations Conference on the Human Environment – and the Brundtland Report of 1987 – a document elaborated by the World Commission on Environment and Development which already pointed out the incompatibility between sustainable development and production and consumption standards – Rio-92, held between 3 and 14 of June, 1992 in the City of Rio de Janeiro, was the first great United Nations conference addressing the environment and development.

Inesc took part in all these events, but only during Rio-92 did it actually join the civil society, indigenous, indigenist and environmentalist organizations.

Parallel to Rio-92, large events and debates took place at the Flamengo Park, led by social movements and organizations from many countries. This movement counted on the active participation and organization of Inesc. The Brazilian NGOs and Social Movements Forum (FBOMS in Portuguese) was born then, gathering, at the time, more than one thousand organizations from all across the world. Inesc was part of this Forum’s coordination for a long time.

“Since then’, we began addressing the environmental issue as a subject matter in itself, bringing forth indigenous and environmental issues that were articulated within Inesc, and the term socioenvironmental gains momentum”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.

As a result of Rio-92, various conferences regarding the environment were created, besides Rio + 5 (1997, United States), Rio + 10 (2002, South Africa), Rio + 20 (2012, Brazil). Inesc actively participated in all of them.

“We began to monitor the United Nations’ process on the one hand, and on the other, joined global NGO forums, such as Social Watch, which also allowed us to act internationally”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.


COP is the acronym used for the Conference of Parties, which are regular meetings between countries that are part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Held every year since 1995, COP was created in Brazil during Rio-92, with the purpose of debating climate change, finding solutions for environmental problems that affect the planet and negotiate agreements between countries to mitigate climate change.

COP reached its peak in 2009. This is when Inesc begins actively impacting negotiations, holding a chair in Brazil’s mission during the Lula government.

“Thanks to Inesc, the Lula government began accepting civil society representatives in Brazil’s missions in climate conferences. From then on, we took part in all COP and pre-COP meetings”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board. 

In 2018, during the Bolsonaro Administration, the participation of organized civil society was forbidden in official Brazilian meetings, and all existing participation spaces were dismantled.

Socio + environmental: a consolidated policy

COP 27

Inesc’s trajectory of more than three decades in the socioenvironmental agenda gives it the necessary maturity to get in tune with heretofore little explored issues. From the defense of the indigenous agenda at the beginning, the organization also focuses its action in issues like energy transition, policy for fossil fuels subsidies, carbon market, climate justice, besides international agreements that impact the right to the environment and of the peoples of the forest.

“And all these issues are interconnected. Our trajectory proves that it is impossible to treat the environmental issue apart from the defense of the rights to territories and the ways of life of all peoples, especially indigenous, quilombolas and traditional populations”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.

Category: News

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