Brazil has just announced that it has cut 2017 greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation to levels far below its 2020 goal. The country originally aimed to reduce emissions from this source by 564 million tons in the Amazon and by 170 million tons in the Cerrado savanna by 2020, in keeping with the 2009 Copenhagen Accord. However, this past Thursday, Brazil’s Environment Ministry reported that CO2 emissions from deforestation in these areas have already been reduced by 780 million tons, in a major win for Brazil and, of course, the Earth.
Brazil has even higher goals for emissions reduction under the 2015 Paris Agreement. According to Thiago Mendes, the Environment Ministry’s secretary of climate change, “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.”
The Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest on the planet, and Brazil’s Cerrado is the biggest savanna in South America. As such, both absorb high amounts of CO2, making their preservation paramount in the battle against climate change. Thankfully, Brazil is already exceeding expectations in this battle, and one can only hope it continues to do so as it strives to meet its Paris Agreement goals.