At COP26 this week, more than 100 countries committed to ending deforestation by 2030. But deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has only accelerated since far-right President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January 2019. 60 percent of the world’s rainforest are in Brazil.
If there is to be any prospect of meeting that 2030 target, the world needs Brazil on board. That’s why statesmen like U.S. climate envoy John Kerry applauded the country when Brazil’s environment minister announced on Monday at COP26 an ambition to end illegal deforestation two years ahead of that schedule, by 2028.
“Looking forward to working together!”, Kerry wrote on Twitter.
But scientists, nonprofits and indigenous groups are skeptical.
“In the past three years, deforestation has only gone up,” said Luciana Gatti, a scientist at Brazil’s space research agency INPE who studies the Amazon’s role in global climate change.
“Without a radical overhaul of enforcement and the system of environmental fines it will be very difficult to achieve that goal,” she added.