Story at a glance
- Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro reiterated a commitment to eliminate illegal deforestation in the country by 2030.
- Bolsonaro said Brazil would become carbon neutral by 2050.
- He also promised to strengthen the country's environmental enforcement agencies, despite significantly weakening such efforts over the course of his presidency.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro made several climate pledges Thursday as President Biden demanded stronger climate action from world leaders, Reuters reports.
During Thursday’s virtual climate summit hosted by the White House, Bolsonaro reiterated a commitment to eliminate illegal deforestation in the country by 2030 and said that action would reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by half.
He also promised to strengthen the country's environmental enforcement agencies, despite significantly weakening such efforts over the course of his presidency.
Bolsonaro also said Brazil would become carbon neutral by 2050, a goal that puts the country in line with commitments made by many developed nations. The target moves up Brazil’s previous goal for reaching net-zero emissions by a decade.
The Brazilian government has been widely criticized by conservation groups as a negligent steward of the Amazon rainforest as deforestation in the Brazilian portion has experienced sharp increases since Bolsonaro took office.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Bolsonaro proposed to the Biden administration that it would reduce deforestation by 40 percent in exchange for $1 billion in aid. He argues the way to reduce deforestation is through financing sustainable economic activities like fish farming, cacao production and others that don’t require the clearing of rainforests.
The president, who has often been referred to as Brazil’s version of former President Trump, has weakened environmental enforcement and pushed for more mining and farming in the country. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon hit a 12-year high in 2020.
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