by Jamile Santana
Since he has 15 years, the administrative assistant Renato de Oliveira Brasson of Mogi das Cruzes, now 26 years, smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. He did not know, but, besides the risks with smoking, each of his cigarettes leads to emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of 5.02 ppm (parts per million), according to a study by The Instituto do Coração in São Paulo. In Brazil, there are 24 million smokers, according to a survey from the National Household Sample Survey (PNAD), the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). If each of these smokers consume the same amount of cigarettes that Brasson, they emit 879,504 tons of carbon dioxide by year. The volume of a greenhouse gas (GHG) is considered high by experts and serves as a warning about how Brazil loses in carbon credits while there aren’t govern projects that involve the population in the clean development mechanism (CDM). The country could raise more than R$ 34 million, value acquired in the first auction of carbon held by the Prefeitura of São Paulo in 2007, tobacco control projects from the use of carbon credits.
Since signing the Kyoto Protocol, developing countries that have no commitment to reduce emissions of GHGs in the atmosphere can do so voluntarily, commercializing these reductions in voluntary markets. According to the coordinator of the campaign''More Life, Less Waste'' the environmentalist, economist and theologian José Vicente Pimenta, Brazil has today, CDM projects on landfills, ethanol production, wind and dams power plants, after there the exchange of fossil fuels by renewable energy. ''So that emission of 879,504 tons of carbon dioxide a year, made only by smokers, is very high and should be worrisome for the country. Just to get an idea in 2007 the Prefeitura of São Paulo sold, in an auction, 808,450 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from Bandeirantes and Sao Joao landfills, for R$ 34 million. This means that if there is a public policy to reduce emissions by smoking, we can raise more than that and implement social projects'', he said.
The annual spending on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases caused by passive smoking hits R$ 19.15 million, according to data from 2008 also the Unified Health System (UHS). "The carbon credit is still a matter far from everyday life, promoting actions like this will bring them to the concern with the environment," says the president of Social Defense, Leonardo Morelli, who studies the development of the project. Until Brasson is favorable of the study. "I had no idea of how I polluted the air. Now, knowing that damage to the environment, I am all in favor of a bill that encourage people to quit smoking, generating credits for it," he said.
Jamile Santana is a jornalist and her text was published in the newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo on December 17th, 2010
Photo by Diego Dacal
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