Brazil’s environment minister hopes to boost image at COP26

Brazil, under fire for failing to stop destruction of the Amazon rainforest, plans to show the world at next month's United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) that it can fight climate change while remaining a top agricultural powerhouse, says Environment Minister Joaquim Leite.
calendar icon 7 October 2021
clock icon 5 minute read

Reuters reports that far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been blasted internationally for not doing enough to stop deforestation. The country's rainforest is considered a crucial bulwark against global climate change.

Leite, who will head the Brazilian delegation to COP26 in Glasgow, said the Paris Agreement on limiting global warming is an opportunity for Brazil to show it can reduce carbon emissions even while serving as a major food producer for the world.

"We want to clearly position Brazil as a country that is part of the Climate Agreement and has an ambitious target of a 43% reduction in emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. We are part of the solution," he told reporters.

With an energy matrix based on 83% renewable sources, mainly hydroelectric, Brazil can meet that target, he said.

To deliver on promises, Brazil needs to cut way back on deforestation, the country's main source of emissions. Under Bolsonaro, destruction of the Amazon rainforest has surged to levels last seen over a decade ago.

Leite said challenges in Glasgow include an agreement for more funding for greener economies and forest conservation, and to get carbon markets working more effectively.

"Brazil will seek consensus especially on the volume of financing for mitigation and reforestation. That needs to be more than the $100 billion (per year) that was promised and never delivered," he said.

The challenge of reaching a green global economy will cost more than that, he said, adding that the funding must be effective, efficient and free of bureaucratic hurdles.

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