Article By Guest Contributor: Adalberto Maluf
Brazilian Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are estimated to have dropped by 33% between 2005 and 2009 after having increased by 60% between 1990 and 2005.
Brazil’s second national communication to the UNFCCC, recently released by the Ministry of Science and Technology, shows that the country’s emissions have grown consistently from 1.4 to 2.2 Gigatones of CO2 eq/ year between 1990 and 2005, placing Brazil among the world’s top ten emitters.
According to the new inventory (based on 2005 data) Brazilian emissions from deforestation still represent the greatest share of emissions, 61% of the total, followed by 19% from agriculture, 15% from the use of energy, 3% from industrial processes (led by cement industry) and only 2% from waste management.
However, there are also good news: new estimates claim Brazil reduced its CO2 emissions by 33% between 2004 and 2009 compared to a business as usual scenario (BAU), a direct result of the reduction in deforestation of the Amazon Forest (70% reduction) and the increase of biofuels, especially ethanol from sugarcane, used by the growing flex fuel car fleet.
With these results, president Lula can go to Cancún confidently knowing that the voluntary proposal under the Copenhagen agreement to reduce the Brazilian carbon footprint by 36% to 39% by 2020 compared to the BAU scenario is feasible : “We are going to Cancún with our heads held high , because we already have concrete results to show”, said President Lula on the release of the National Report.
Celso Amorim, Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs, was quoted that his expectations for Cancún are still very low regarding the ability of some developed countries to deliver better proposals than were offered in Copenhagen. “It won’t be an easy task”. With these new results showing that Brazil is able to reduce its carbon footprint despite consistent economic growth in recent years, the Brazilian government wants to join the group of key countries that will be crucial for a final deal.