COP26 round the bend, Brazil would need to explain rise in greenhouse emissions

Widespread deforestation in Brazil prompts increase in greenhouse emissions by 9.5% in pandemic year

Even as world witnessed a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when the pandemic was in full force during the year 2020, there is one nation that saw just the opposite.

The 2020 figures for greenhouse emissions saw Brazil post a rise by 9.5 percent. The culprit has been identified as widespread deforestation.

In fact, the new revelations have called for worldwide attention, as Brazil has become one of the only major economies that have failed to bring down pollution at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic was raging.

Brazil greenhouse emissions up as the globe saw a drop

In comparison, greenhouse emissions on a global level dropped to a cool 7 percent during the year 2020. This is mostly attributed to the lockdown and restrictions that forced people to stay home for a long period. Though the restrictions had proved to be a bane for the world’s economy, the only positive aspect it brought in during the pandemic year is that pollution and greenhouse emissions dropped significantly.

However, it was not the so as far as Brazil was concerned. The country released an equivalent of 2.16 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, said a Physorg report quoting the Climate Observatory, which is a coalition of environmental groups. This is in fact the highest since 2006, it added.

We had earlier seen that the Amazon rainforest in Brazil had been impacted due to heavy deforestation. This increase in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest could be attributed to the poor show that Brazil has displayed during 2020, while the rest of the world behaved more responsibly. The Brazilian Amazon rainforest was poorer by more than 10,000 square km of forest cover a year, it has been found.

Govt policies degrade environment

Most significantly the current leadership has a lot to explain for making the planet weep. Jair Bolsonaro, the far right President who assumed office in 2019, has a major role in the bad stage that Brazil is in at the moment.

Ever since he took over office, he had been pushing policies that could prove worse for the earth in the near term. His policies such as opening protected lands to agribusiness and mining could be seen as anti-planet, to say the least.

Though the country was able to pull down pollution in its energy sector, Brazil did not focus well on other aspects that proved dangerous. The country, to be fair, had made sure that emissions dropped by around 4.6 percent in the aviation and industrial segments.

But then, its non-committal approach towards the environment by allowing chopping of trees and burning them for agriculture and land use measures acted against not just Latin America’s largest economy but the whole world too in one shot. Statistics show that emissions grew 2.5 percent in the agricultural sector and 23.7 percent when trees were burnt for land use.

With Brazil also set to arrive in Glasgow for the prestigious COP26 summit, it remains to be seen what President Bolsonaro will have to tell the world.

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