Brazil's Environment Minister Carlos Minc made big climate news on Wednesday, criticizing weak U.S. targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, announcing new restrictions on the country's huge farm sector to slash deforestation, and saying that Brazil's president will travel to Copenhagen to attend the international climate negotiations in December.Minc also said that Brazil would soon put forward targets to cut carbon emissions. Clearly, Brazil's goal will be more ambitious that those of the U.S., with Minc saying, "They (the U.S.) have to come closer to something beyond a 20 percent reduction." The U.S. target under the Waxman-Markey bill, which has cleared the House, is about 4 percent below 1990 levels.
Minc sounded a familiar tune for developing countries, saying developing countries should set reduction targets and that developed countries should increase their financing for mitigation and adaptation to fight against climate change. WWF estimates about $160 billion annually is needed from developed countries.
Last year, Brazil announced a plan to cut Amazon deforestation in half over 10 years. Deforestation contributes to making Brazil the 4th largest emitter of greenhouse gases globally. Minc said that next week Brazil will announce new restrictions on sugar cane planting and seek to ban new sugar mills in the Amazon, a major source of deforestation.