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Articles by Peter Richards

Peter Richards is a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University.

Featured Article

Brazil’s economy is teetering on the edge of collapse. The country’s political regime has been rocked by recent corruption scandals, and impeachment proceedings are encircling the nation’s leaders. And yet things couldn’t be much better for Brazil’s soybean farmers.

At the beginning of the last decade, Brazil emerged as a major soybean exporter. Today, Brazil produces about one-third of the global supply and earns more from soybean exports than from any other commodity.

Although soybean production is generating revenues for Brazil, it could spell trouble for the nation’s widely lauded environmental commitments.

Brazil is the first emerging economy that has pledged to make absolute reductions in its greenhouse gas emissions – that is, reductions from the level that it emitted at a specific point in time (2005), not from an estimate of what it will emit at some future time. Its climate plan calls for cutting emissions by more than 40 percent by 2030, with most of its emission reductions to come through avoiding deforestation. By 2030, Brazil has pledged to restore 12 million hectares of carbon-absorbing forest and eliminate illegal deforestation.

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