Brazil’s carbon emissions rise for the first time since 2004

Brazil’s carbon emissions

A rise in deforestation has been blamed for the Amazon’s rising emissions. Creative Commons: Neil Palmer, CIAT, 2011

Brazil’s annual carbon emissions have risen for the first time since 2004, reversing a decade long trend of declining emissions.

In 2013 Brazil’s emissions reached 1.56 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide signifying a 7.8% increase from the previous year according to a report from the Climate Observatory.

“This growth is by no means negligible. All sectors of the economy increased their emissions in 2013,” said Carlos Rittl, executive secretary of the Climate Observatory.

Increases in deforestation and the use of thermal power stations have been cited as the cause of the rise in emissions.

Deforestation has risen by 16% due to illegal logging and cattle expansion, and the depletion of the hydropower dams due to the 3 year drought has resulted in a heavier reliance on thermal power.

Significantly, the report highlights that the recent fall in deforestation was masking the rise in emissions in other sectors such as agriculture, industry and energy.

Brazil has committed to an emissions reduction target of 39% by 2020 and a reduction in emissions from Amazon deforestation of 80% over the same period.

Although, Brazil’s emissions in 2013 are 45% lower than it’s peak in 2004, the report suggests that Brazil could fail to meet its 2020 emissions reduction goal.

“We see the tendency for emissions to rise again in 2014 even considering a stagnant economy, so if Brazil manages to resume economic growth in the future it will be hard to meet the target,” said Tasso Azevedo, the study’s coordinator.

Brazil is the seventh largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions representing 3% of the global total.

The country has yet to pledge it’s contribution to Paris 2015.

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