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Brazil's President: "I Foresee That By 2020 We Will Be Able To Reduce Deforestation By 80 Percent; In Other Words We Will Emit Some 4.8 Billion Fewer Tons Of Carbon Dioxide Gas"
Joe Romm, 14 Oct 09

This is really the first year since the launch in 2006 that the blog seems appropriately named! AFP reports:

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Tuesday he will offer to reduce the pace of deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest by 80 percent by 2020 when he attends December’s global climate talks in Copenhagen. Lula said his pledge will come during high-stakes talks in the Danish capital that aim to push 192 nations towards a climate deal to succeed the landmark Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

“We’re in the process of preparing our proposal for Copenhagen,” Lula said on his weekly radio program, Coffee with the President. “I foresee that by 2020 we will be able to reduce deforestation by 80 percent; in other words, we will emit some 4.8 billion fewer tons of carbon dioxide gas.”

Brazil’s rain forest, the largest on Earth, is shrinking at the rate of some 12,000 square kilometers (or 7456.454 miles) per year because of deforestation.

The world appears to be coming together to finally address deforestation, one of the biggest single contributor to climate change:

  • Indonesia pledges CO2 cut of 26% to 41% by 2020, “We will change the status of our forest from that of a net emitter sector to a net sink sector by 2030.”

  • A plan to save rainforests gains momentum
  • This is going to cost money, of course, and the developing countries quite naturally expect the rich countries — which grew rich generating the overwhelming majority of cumulative GHG emissions and cutting down their own forests — and oftentimes directly or indirectly financing the deforestation of poorer countries:

    Lula said he will also demand in Copenhagen that industrialized countries pay their fair share of the costs of reducing greenhouse gases. Proposals offered by developed countries should not only cover “initiatives to reduce their emissions, but all the other harm they already have inflicted on the planet,” the Brazilian leader said.

    “We have to draw a line between rich countries, which have a had an industrial policy in place for more than 150 years, and the poor ones which only now are beginning to develop,” he said.

    “With respect to global warming, the responsibility of the rich countries is much greater than that of emerging countries,” said Lula.

    But, the good news is that stopping deforestation is one of the most cost-effective, near-term strategies for addressing climate change:

  • Study: 13 gigatonnes of annual CO2 cuts by 2020 — 3/4 of what is needed for 450 ppm path globally — can be met at net savings of $14 billion
  • Another good piece of news is that the House climate and clean energy bill allocates a great deal of money to this international effort:

  • Tackling Climate Change by Saving Forests
  • The key will be to ensure that the Senate bill — and the final bill that gets to Obama’s desk next year — keeps these provisions.

    Kudos to Brazil for putting this strong commitment on the table.

    This article originally appeared on Climate Progress.

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    Whilst it would be nice to think of this as politicians sitting up and taking notice or - God forbid - caring about deforestation, it seems that the president may not be living up to his words. Brazil is in the process of building a 3,150 megawatt (MW) Santo Antonio dam on the Madeira River in the Amazon rainforest near Bolivia - something that will have a dramatic environmental impact and cost in the region of $10-14 billion...I would like to see the Brazilian government put their money where their mouth is and really begin to make a difference! An area the size of England has been turned into desert-land due to their deforestation - this is not acceptable. We can only hope the president will stick to his promise!

    Posted by: Envirofemme on 15 Oct 09

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