Brazil Says to Seek Help to Protect Amazon at Climate Summit
(Bloomberg) -- Brazil will come to the upcoming climate summit in Scotland seeking extra support on protecting the Amazon rainforest as it offers more ambitious pledges on reducing carbon emissions, Foreign Minister Carlos Franca said.
“In Brazil, we have budgetary discipline and a ceiling of expenditure for public resources and they lead us to another question: how the world can help Brazil?” Franca said in an interview in Paris on Wednesday. “We have cooperation, but of course it can be improved.
Brazil, South America’s top-emitting nation, is home to a large part of the Amazon rainforest, which contains one-in-ten of Earth’s known species and acts as a sink for some 90-140 billion tons of carbon, according to conservation group the World Wildlife Fund. Amid a jump in wildfires and illegal deforestation, President Jair Bolsonaro’s government is under pressure to get the landscape’s destruction under control.
Franca said that Brazil can do that while remaining a top agricultural powerhouse and that it plans to be “more ambitious.” It wants to curtail illegal deforestation by 2030 and seek carbon neutrality by 2050, a decade earlier than planned, he said.
“If we can get some help from abroad, from private companies, of course we can go faster and meet these targets faster than we anticipated if we just rely on budgetary resources that are of course scarce,” the minister said. He cited a “Green Growth” program that will aim to promote environmentally-friendly investment.
His comments will find plenty of skeptics given the record of the right-wing populist government of Bolsonaro, who has been a strong advocate for opening up the Amazon to mining and agriculture, has questioned the existence of climate change, and publicly clashed with French President Emmanuel Macron over climate issues.
Some 200 parties will gather in Glasgow from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12 for the United Nations Climate Change conference, known as Cop26. The goal is for countries to agree on how they can work together to reduce emissions and promote climate adaptation, with a view to cutting costs and speeding up progress.
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