Raphael Azeredo

Key player in the BASIC group of countries

A popular figure amongst negotiators, Raphael Azeredo is an active player at the climate talks. Brazil’s importance at the talks dates back to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, where the UN climate change framework was agreed.

Brazil is part of the G77 and China group. It also initiated a separate group within G77 and China called BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) in 2009. BASIC has become one of the most powerful groups, with the ability to veto anything they don’t like. This has generated resentment amongst the wider G77.

Brazil is influential on forest carbon issues, which come under Reducing Emissions under Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+). Under that initiative, Brazil could be paid to preserve its large swathes of forests in the Amazon, in order to reduce emissions resulting from deforestation.

In 2013, Azeredo led the Brazil delegation to propose a formula to calculate historical responsibility for emissions since 1850, most of which have been caused by developed countries. Those countries rejected the idea outright, but success in Paris will depend on how this developed/developing country divide is handled, and to whether they can come up with a new formula that manages to bridge it.