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Brazil's 2021 climate emissions highest since 2005, report says

Brazil's 2021 climate emissions highest since 2005, report says

Wednesday, November 02, 2022, 09:29 GMT+7
Brazil's 2021 climate emissions highest since 2005, report says
An aerial view shows a deforested plot of Brazilian Amazon rainforest, in Apui, Amazonas state, Brazil, September 3, 2021. Picture taken with a drone September 3, 2021. Photo: Reuters

Brazil's greenhouse gas emissions rose more than 12% in 2021 largely due to surging deforestation in the Amazon rainforest under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, a non-profit report said on Tuesday.

The data comes as environmentalists, sustainable investors and many world leaders praise Sunday's election of left-wing leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has promised to protect the world's largest rainforest and tackle climate change.

Brazil emitted the most greenhouse gas last year since 2005, according to the so-called SEEG emissions monitoring project sponsored by the Climate Observatory environmental advocacy group.

Data shows that last year the country emitted 2.42 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), up from 2.16 billion tonnes in 2020.

Brazil, despite having a relatively clean electricity grids reliant on hydropower and renewable energy, is the globe's fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gas mostly because of deforestation, agriculture and other land use.

The country is home to 60% of the Amazon, the world's largest rainforest, which absorbs vast amounts of climate warming carbon dioxide that is released when the forest is destroyed.

Bolsonaro has rolled back environmental protections and sought to introduce more farming, mining and infrastructure in the Amazon, leading deforestation to spike to a 15-year high.

"We have a government that has abandoned, denied, climate issues, and has done everything it can to destroy the environmental management of our country, especially in the Amazon," said Marcio Astrini, head of Climate Observatory, in an online presentation.

Bolsonaro's office did not respond to a request for comment.

The energy sector also contributed to the rise, with consumption snapping back to higher levels after dropping during the pandemic.

The report puts Brazil off-track to meet its 2025 and 2030 climate goals, just as the world is set to discuss climate commitments at the United Nations COP27 climate summit in Egypt next week.

Lula plans to send representatives to the meeting, despite Bolsonaro continuing to lead the country until Jan. 1.

Reuters

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