Greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil fell by nearly 39 percent from 2005 to 2010, largely because of reductions in the amount of forest loss, according to a new government report. Overall, Brazil emitted the equivalent of 1.25 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2010, which was more than 10 percent lower than 1990 levels.
About 76 percent of the reductions were the product of a dramatic decline in deforestation across the Amazon and surrounding savannahs, according to the government inventory. That decline was driven by the country’s conservation policies, including stricter enforcement of land use laws, expansion of protected regions, and stronger local incentives to achieve environmental goals.
For the first time, agriculture accounts for the largest share of emissions. In fact, rising emissions from agriculture and the energy sector threaten to offset improvements achieved through reduced forest loss, experts warn.
Although the report suggests emissions reductions remains a priority for Brazil, cutting emissions in the future “will not be a simple task,” Carlos Nobre, a scientist with the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, told Nature.
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.