Brazil Sets A Big Target for Emissions Reductions


Brazil President Lula

Yesterday Brazil announced its targets for slashing global warming emissions. The emerging economic powerhouse has pledged to cut emissions 36% to 39% below 2020 business as usual levels. In terms of carbon, it represents something close to 1Gt of CO2. The move should be a sign to other developing countries that they too can dramatically cut their emissions but it should be looked at with some skepticism.There's no doubt that it's a good thing that Brazil has set a national target. The rhetoric there has changed from "no we can't" to" this will be good for our environment and our economy."

Here's a few things to keep in mind as you look at their plan:

1. The number was announced as a voluntary target. It needs to be registered as an international binding commitment and to be incorporated Brazil's National Climate Change Policy.

2. The BAU projections are a bit fuzzy. Brazil's economy is dynamic continues to rapidly evolve.

3. Braking down the numbers you'll see that the proposals are:
- 80% Amazon deforestation reduction in 2020.

- On agriculture, they intend to increase no-till planting, integrate livestock ranching to agriculture farming and to recover some degraded pasturelands.

- Energy: Continue with large hydroelectric power plants, enhance biomass electricity production and do something on the "alternative" energies.

- All charcoal used on steel production must come from private plantations, not from natural forests.

More on Brazil:
Compared to China & Brazil, the US is Climate Illiterate, Scientist Says
Brazil's New Plan to Fight Climate Change: Coal and Oil Companies Must Plant Trees
Brazil's Former Environment Minister Quits Ruling Party, Moves One Step Closer to Presidential Bid