Despite the Jair Bolsonaro administration’s recent pledges to reduce carbon emissions ahead of the COP26 climate summit, a report showed that the country is throwing more CO2 into the atmosphere than at any point in the past 14 years. The findings come from the Brazilian Climate Observatory, a non-profit organization.
As our Brazil Daily newsletter showed last year, the country enhanced gross emissions during the pandemic. That made Brazil a global outlier, as factory shutdowns during the health crisis caused an unprecedented 5.5-percent worldwide drop in emissions for 2020.
Latin America’s biggest economy has become something of an environmental bogeyman since Mr. Bolsonaro took office, as his administration allowed the trend of rising deforestation to get even worse. The president is also accused of turning a blind eye to Amazon deforestation and empowering land grabbers. Former Environment Minister Ricardo Salles faces charges of being part of a timber-trafficking ring.
President Bolsonaro has belittled Brazil’s role in causing climate change, a stance shared by many of his predecessors. But a new report by think tank Carbon Brief suggests that Brazil figures among the top 4 countries in terms of cumulative emissions since 1850, due to rampant deforestation since the late 19th century.