Written by Staff Writer by Lama Rose, CNN
At the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, Brazil seemed to be leading the pack. After all, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said the country was committed to slashing its carbon emissions by 35%.
A little more than eight years later, that goal is looking much more distant. Brazil, along with the European Union, recently outlined ambitious plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and 20% by 2030, respectively, over current levels.
But it still has some way to go.
For example, Brazil is responsible for just 3% of the global emissions and managed to reduce its emissions by 0.4% between 2007 and 2016. In comparison, the United States reduced its emissions by 2.5% between 2005 and 2016, while China grew by 4.7%. In fact, the United States, China and India are responsible for 77% of the global emissions increase between 2005 and 2016.
Climate activists and academics have said that cuts from countries like Brazil don’t come close to what is needed to keep the rise in global average temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit). They also worry that Brazil is prioritizing economic growth over fighting climate change.
However, these are just some of the many stark contradictions of Brazil’s record on fighting climate change, which climate activists claim can be seen in the myriad areas it failed to reach its Kyoto Protocol targets, including deforestation, power plants and its current plan to reduce emissions by 20% by 2030.