Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said on Tuesday (8) that Brazil would maintain the emission reduction targets set by the Dilma Rousseff (PT) government in 2015.
Salles stated Brazil’s intention to achieve emissions neutrality by 2060, which China had also announced.
The Salles Declaration is part of the Paris Agreement commitment to communicate or update this year’s emissions reduction target, which should be repeated every five years. The official document detailing Brazil’s goals should be released today.
However, the minister’s speeches on Tuesday were laconic about the main factor responsible for Brazil’s growing emissions over the past decade: deforestation.
The destruction of the Amazon even puts the country in trouble with its own legislation. Brazil had committed itself through the PNMC (National Policy on Climate Change) to reduce 80% of deforestation in the Amazon region by 2020 compared to the average between 1996 and 2005, which corresponds to around 3,925 km², which is implausible.
The latest data from Prodes, a National Institute for Space Research (INPE) program that provides the rate of deforestation used for international agreements, shows the destruction of more than 11,000 km² in the Amazon, a record in the past decade.
The country’s other reduction target is precisely linked to the NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) and consequently to the Paris Agreement. In it, the countries themselves committed themselves to emission reductions and stated the value of how much they could save greenhouse gases in order to avoid a rise in global temperature above 2 ° C.
In 2020, countries should announce more ambitious reduction targets, such as those achieved by the United Kingdom and Colombia.
Natalie Unterstell, coordinator of the Politics for a Whole project at the Talanoa Institute, also says the distant engagement with no specific goals for the current decade (the years 2025 and 2030, which Salles didn’t even mention) is not a good sign.
While the government did not give its opinion on the national goals and the deadline for them was nearing the end, the Climate Observatory, a network of more than 50 organizations, put forward a proposal to update the Brazilian NDC, in which the country propose a protocol should be 81% emissions in 2030 (compared to 2005), in addition to being carbon neutral in 2050.
In a statement on Tuesday evening, the Observatory also noted that the cut proposed by the Jair Bolsonaro government (excluding the party) “does not meet any of the goals of the Paris Agreement to keep global warming below 2 ° C or 1 5 ° C”.
“She [a meta] It would lead us into a world that is 3 ° C warmer if all countries had the same ambition, “says the observatory’s announcement.” The world has changed, but Brazil’s destinations have not. “
The minister reiterated that the Brazilian goal of neutrality can be pushed even further if the industrialized nations meet the obligation to transfer at least 10 billion US dollars a year to Brazil, something Salles keeps repeating.
The transfer of funds is provided for in the Paris Agreement. The document provides a mechanism for rich countries to invest in developing country sustainable development policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
However, the speech ends with the minister himself taking previous action, who said in 2019 that there were problems with the billionaire Amazon Fund (which received money from Norway and Germany), and blocked it – which remains to this day.
According to Unterstell, it would also be important to show when Brazil will reach the statutory target, which will be broken in 2020, so that the country will again be valued by international investors. “Why was there no obligation here to reduce deforestation? If he wants to stimulate international donors, Salles has to give a real signal to reduce deforestation,” says the expert.
Unterstell says that without explanations about deforestation, “Brazil has no credibility”. “It seems that we have adopted goals without a solid foundation,” he says.
She also reminds that emissions neutrality is a state obligation, not a state obligation, and that broad participation of the population in the process is required. According to her, the channels of dialogue between society and the government (which, for example, constantly attack NGOs) are minimal.
Salles spoke to the press after meeting to approve the designated national contribution.
“If we can get this flow of funding, we will consider the option to commit to neutrality in less time. So Brazil is once again showing its commitment to the climate issue,” he said.
The mechanism is designed to help countries that have worked to reduce their emissions of polluting gases.
In 2019, Brazil crippled the Amazon Fund, the largest international cooperation project to conserve the Amazon rainforest. The collaboration, which had donated R $ 3.1 billion to the cause from Germany and Norway over ten years, was frozen after Salles said he had problems with NGOs that received funding from the BNDES-managed fund.
This year, Brazil has seen an increase in deforestation in both the Amazon and the Pantanal.
Deforestation in the Amazon region increased by 9.5% from August 2019 to July 2020 compared to the previous period from 2018 to 2019. A total of 11,088 km² of forest was cut down in this period, although the army was present in Amazonia, under Operation Green Brazil 2.