An Increase in Deforestation, Fires, Land Invasion, and Illegal Mining in the Amazon

Humanity needs to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by almost half by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050 if it is to stand a chance of meeting the Paris Agreement goal of stabilizing Earth’s warming at 1.5°C and avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis. As the sixth largest emitter on the planet, Brazil has a great responsibility in cutting greenhouse gases. However, in the last 3 years, it has gone against good environmental practices.

We have seen a systematic and efficient dismantling of environmental regulations and enforcement agencies. The consequence was an increase in deforestation, fires, land invasions, and illegal mining. In Congress, government-backed bills are emerging that could decimate traditional people and the Amazon rainforest, without which the Paris Agreement is a dead letter. Our NDC has lowered your ambition.

Proof of this is that in the Amazon, an area of ​​forest the size of Belgium has turned to ash. On 09/05/22, satellites recorded that smoke from fires covered 5 million km² of Brazil and also reached other countries. This year (until 09/04/22) the Amazon had 58 thousand fires, a total that represents 20% more than the registered in the same period of the previous year. Additionally, about 25,000 miners invaded and caused devastation in the Yanomami Indigenous Land. Finally, Brazil was probably the only G20 country to increase its carbon emissions in the pandemic year 2020.

Brazil is in a better position than many other countries to take advantage of the economic and social justice opportunities that the transition to a clean economy offers. Concerned about this, the Climate Observatory, a network of 73 civil society organizations, outlined a vision for which Brazil will go beyond carbon neutrality in 2050: taking advantage of its comparative advantages, being able to become the first major economy in the world to sequester more greenhouse gases than it emits, becoming carbon negative as early as 2045. This strategic vision is in the document “Brazil 2045—Building an Environmental Power”, which can be accessed in full at the link:

The proposals made are divided into eight main themes: 1. Climate policy and international agreements; 2. Prevention and control of deforestation; 3. Bioeconomy and agro-silvopastoral activities; 4. Climate justice; 5. Energy; 6. Biodiversity and coastal areas; 7. Industry and urban management; 8. Governance and financing of national environmental policy.

For each of them, there are actions considered to be priorities for the first cycle of the new government (2023-2024) and, among them, a subset of urgent proposals to be adopted in the first 100 days of government.

Most of them depend only on the political decision of the next president. In total, there are 74 proposals for the first two years and 62 emergency actions for the first 100 days.

This document will be delivered to the main candidates for the Presidency to sensitize them to the need for building a decarbonized, egalitarian, prosperous, and sustainable Brazil, in the fight against the climate crisis, and we are now hopeful of a more committed next 4-year presidential cycle with the environment.

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Brazil Country Manager Carlos Alexandre de Oliveira


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