The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) published on August 8, in Geneva, its Special Report on Climate Change and Land ( SRCCL). The executive summary makes clear the importance of combating deforestation, promoting forest recuperation, changing agricultural practices, and curbing land degradation worldwide as measures that are capable of combatting climate change and promoting the adaptation of society to them.
According to the report, the reduction of deforestation and degradation has the potential of reducing up to 5.8 billion tons of CO2 per year in the world. The country with the largest tropical forest on the planet, Brazil, can respond by playing an important part in this reduction – if government and society play their part.
There are also opportunities for Brazil in the sectors of sustainable bioenergy and forest recuperation, which are seen by the IPCC as important aspects for achieving the target of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5oC, and in agriculture. The food system, which accounts for up to 37% of the greenhouse gas emissions on the planet, can be an instrument of response to climate change, with agricultural technologies that the country already uses, gains in efficiency and diet changes to include more vegetables.
In all these areas Brazil has competitive advantages and can become a global leader in production with a reduction of emissions, such as the Plan of Agriculture for the Low Emission of Carbon advised a decade ago.
On the other hand, the IPCC also warns that the delay of the world in tackling the climate crisis decisively will result in the solutions based on land use becoming less efficient, because global warming will cause the degradation of the ecosystems and the loss of agricultural productivity.
“These are two powerful messages for the Brazilian government,” says Carlos Rittl, executive secretary of the Climate Observatory. “By denying global warming and encouraging the deforestation of the Amazon region, the administration of Jair Bolsonaro is wasting money because the food system will be re-directed to low carbon activities that Brazil has the potential to lead. At the same time, by adhering to the obscurantist ideology of Donald Trump, the president of Brazil is wasting opportunities for business, innovation and investment in this new sector of land use that the IPCC report outlines.”
According to Rittl, the explosion of deforestation in the Amazon region in recent months runs counter to all the conclusions of the report. “The attitude of the Brazilian government in relation to forests, questioning the measurements of deforestation instead of acting against it, is an environmental, ethical and economic disaster.”
See other Brazilian publications about the publication of the report:
VALOR ECONÔMICO | FOLHA DE SÃO PAULO | BBC | G1 | EL PAIS | LE MONDE | NEW YORK TIMES