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Brazil Cut Its Greenhouse Gas Emission Levels Lower Than 2020 Emission Goals

The 2020 emission goals were set out in the 2009 Copenhagen Accord to combat climate change. Under the more ambitious Paris Agreement in 2015 on climate change, Brazil has set goals for further steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions for 2025 and 2030.

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Brazil Surpasses 2020 Target to Cut Deforestation Emissions. Flickr Commons
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Brazil cut its greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation in 2017 to levels below its internationally agreed 2020 climate change targets, the country’s Environment Ministry said Thursday.

Brazil reduced its emission from deforestation in the Amazon rainforest by 610 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), compared to its 2020 target of 564 million tons. In the Cerrado savanna, emissions were reduced 170 million tons of carbon dioxide versus a target of 104 million tons.

The Amazon, the world’s largest tropical rainforest, and the Cerrado, South America’s biggest savanna, soak up vast amounts of carbon dioxide, and their preservation is seen as vital to the fight against climate change.

Brazil reduced its emission from deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Pixabay
Brazil reduced its emission from deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Pixabay

But destruction of the forest releases large quantities of CO2, one of the main greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. Large-scale Amazon deforestation has made Brazil one of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters, because of fires and the spread of agriculture and cattle ranching.

The 2020 emission goals were set out in the 2009 Copenhagen Accord to combat climate change. Under the more ambitious Paris Agreement in 2015 on climate change, Brazil has set goals for further steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions for 2025 and 2030.

Also Read: Nature in Danger: Deforestation Climbs High

“The policy message is that we can and should remain in the Paris Agreement (because) it is possible to effectively implement the commitments that have been made,” said Thiago Mendes, secretary of climate change in the Environment Ministry. (VOA)

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Look at Consumption When Assigning Blame for Global Warming, Study Says

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The sun is seen through evening air pollution in Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 8, 2018. VOA

Wealthy cities are responsible for a huge share of greenhouse-gas emissions when calculations include goods they consume from developing countries, researchers said on Tuesday, challenging traditional estimates that put blame on manufacturing nations.

Looking at emissions based on consumption, affluent cities, mostly in North America and Europe, emit 60 percent more greenhouse gases than they do use traditional calculations, researchers said at a United Nations-backed climate summit.

Calculating emissions of greenhouse gases, which are blamed for global warming, traditionally looks at where goods such as cellular phones or plastic cups are produced, they said.

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Cities account for an estimated 75 percent of carbon emissions, according to U.N. figures used at the summit. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Simpler route to global warming management being missed

But consumption-based emissions presents a fuller picture by attributing emissions to the consumers rather than the manufacturers, said Mark Watts, head of C40, an alliance of more than 90 global cities.

The newer method of calculation puts the responsibility on richer consumers and “increases the scope of things that policymakers in cities can address to reduce emissions,” Watts said.

Big cities, big problem

The estimate by C40 comes amid concern that national governments are not on track to meet the pledges they made in 2015 in Paris to reduce greenhouse gases and curb climate change.

ALSO READ: A rise in 2 degrees Celsius in global warming could cause droughts

Traditional calculations put manufacturing countries such as China and India amid the lead emitters of greenhouse gases.

Using consumption-based calculations, emissions in 15 affluent cities were three times more than they were with traditional figuring, the researchers said.

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Forbidden City and other buildings are seen amid smog ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year in Beijing, Feb. 13, 2018. VOA

ALSO READ: Global warming to continue for thousands of years

Using consumption-based emissions is “revolutionary” although still “on the periphery,” said Debra Roberts, a co-chairwoman on the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“But … these are ideas whose time is probably almost imminent,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the sidelines of the Edmonton summit.

The researchers used trade and household data from 79 cities that are members of C40.

Some 750 climate scientists and city planners from 80 countries are gathered in the western Canadian city to help chart a global roadmap for cities to battle climate change. (VOA)