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Brazil to keep ambitious climate goals

By Juliet Eilperin

Brazil will still enshrine its stringent 2020 greenhouse gas emission goals in law despite the failure of this month's international climate talks to produce a binding treaty, its environment minister announced Monday.

"We will fully comply with the targets," said Brazil's environment minister Carlos Minc, after meeting with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. "It doesn't matter that Copenhagen didn't go as well as we had hoped."

The announcement is significant because Brazil--which ranks as one of the world's biggest emitters--had pledged just before the climate talks to reduce its emissions by between 35 and 39 percent by 2020, which amounts to a 20 percent cut from 2005 levels.

Most of Brazil's carbon emissions stem from deforestation of the Amazon, which is cleared for both ranching and farming. A combination of government initiatives and internationally-funded conservation programs have helped curb the destruction of Brazil's rainforest in the past few years.

Brazil's Congress passed climate legislation last month that includes the near-term emission targets; Minc said Lula will veto three of the bill's provisions but would preserve the emission reduction goals.

"The targets were maintained, which is the most important," he said. "Brazil will have a strong climate change policy."

Brazil, along with all other countries in the world, has until the end of January to submit its emission reduction targets to the United Nations as part of the non-binding climate agreement reached in Copenhagen.


Juliet Eilperin

 |  December 28, 2009; 6:44 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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