Brazil should increase pollutant emissions this year due to deforestation – observatory

According to the observatory's analysis, a network of 37 Brazilian civil society entities formed to discuss climate change, Brazil should thus counteract the global trend, taking into account that the global recession created by covid-19 should cause a reduction in gas emissions greenhouse gases in the order of 6% in 2020.

The strong increase in deforestation in the Amazon this year should unbalance the values ​​expected by the fall in emissions in the energy sector and industrial activity, as well as the reduction in deforestation that has been seen in the Cerrado (known as “Brazilian savannah”), according to with the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimation System (Seeg) of the Climate Observatory.

According to the document, considering the average of the last five years, emissions from deforestation in 2020 will be 29% higher than those recorded in 2018 – the last year with available data.

“However, the Amazon can end 2020 with 14,500 square kilometers deforested and emissions 51% higher than in 2018”, emphasizes the report, clarifying that deforestation is measured from August of one year to July of the following year.

Another factor in the increase in greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil is the reduction in meat consumption. In April, cattle slaughter fell 20%, which may mean a slight increase in the sector's emissions. The reduction in slaughter means that there are more animals in the pasture and, therefore, more emissions.

“Livestock alone accounts for 20% of Brazil's emissions, mainly due to the methane emitted by the cattle herd”, indicated the Observatório do Clima.

In 2018, Brazil emitted 1.9 billion gross tons of CO2 – carbon dioxide. The observatory's expectation is that emissions in 2020 will range between 2.1 billion and 2.3 billion gross tons, depending on the advance of deforestation in the Amazon.

“This would divert the country both from complying with the National Policy on Climate Change, which has a target of decreasing emissions for 2020, and from the Paris Agreement, which provides for emissions of 1.3 billion gross tons of CO2 by 2025”, according to the organization.

“The effect of the pandemic is to reduce emissions worldwide. But, in Brazil, we have most of the emissions linked to changes in land use, which are not linked to covid-19 ”, said Tasso Azevedo, Seeg coordinator.

The Climate Observatory blames the Government of the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, for accelerating deforestation and the consequent increase in greenhouse gas emissions, accusing the executive of “stimulating environmental crime” and reducing inspection.

“Brazil has become a threat to the Paris Agreement, at a time when we need, more than ever, to advance in stabilizing the climate, to avoid another serious crisis of global proportions”, defended Marcio Astrini, executive secretary of the Climate Observatory.

The deforested area in the Brazilian Amazon in April was 529 square kilometers, representing an increase of 171% over the same period last year, according to data from the Institute of Man and Environment of the Amazon (Imazon).

The information was collected by the Imazon Deforestation Alert System (SAD), an institute that has no connection to the Brazilian Government, which added that, between the period from January to April 2020, the accumulated deforestation was 1,073 square kilometers, an increase 133% compared to the same period in 2019, when deforestation totaled 460 square kilometers.

The figures presented by Imazon contrast with the data released earlier this month by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE, linked to the Federal Government), which reported an increase of 63.75% in April, compared to the same month last year.

The Amazon is the largest tropical forest in the world and has the highest biodiversity recorded in an area of ​​the planet. It has about five and a half million square kilometers and includes territories in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana (territory belonging to France).


Brazil content is expected to increase pollutant emissions this year due to deforestation – the observatory appears first in Visão.

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