This is a guest post from André Guimarães, executive director of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute, and Stephan Schwartzman, senior director of tropical forest policy at the Environmental Defense Fund.
It may be hard to recall amid all the bad news coming from Brazil these days — the country’s worst recession in 30 years, its unprecedented corruption crisis, and above all the May 12 Senate vote to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and begin an impeachment trial against her — but this country has in recent years occupied a position of critical global leadership on climate change. Brazil is the world’s biggest reducer of greenhouse gas emissions, having slashed Amazon deforestation about 80 percent over the last decade. Brazil also contributed to the success of the Paris climate agreement last December by adopting an absolute, economy-wide emission-reduction commitment — one far more ambitious than those put forward by most developing countries.
The current crisis puts these commitments at risk, threatening a major blow to global climate progress.
Cutting and burning down trees accounts for about 15 percent of the world’s global greenhouse gas e... Read more