Climate Summit: US unveils ambitious plans; Brazil promisses to go carbon neutral by 2050

Apr, 22, 2021 Posted by Andrew Lorimer

Week 202117

US President Joe Biden has told a major summit that we are in a “decisive decade” for tackling climate change.

The US has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by the year 2030.

This new target, which was unveiled at a virtual summit of 40 global leaders, essentially doubles their previous promise.

But the leaders of India and China, two of the world’s biggest emitters, made no new commitments.

The US ambassador to Brazil said the climate summit of 40 world leaders this week would be Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s “last chance” to restore Washington’s confidence in Brazil’s commitment to taking action to fight climate change.

The shipping industry was also in the news today as the industry signalled the need for a global carbon tax on shipments. Data from Datamar shows that many of the vessels used in Brazilian cabotage are beyond what would be considered a reasonable age. The data represents about half of the vessels used in cabotage voyages within Brazil during January 2021.

Age Ranges of Brazilian Cabotage Vessels | Number of Vessels | January 2021

*sample represents about half of all vessels used in cabotage operations during January 2021

Source: DataLiner (click here to request a demo).

Pressure from Brazilian civil society groups has complicated the situation for Bolsonaro, and paved the way for one of its neighbors—Colombia—to step in as Latin America’s primary leader on climate.

A bilateral agreement Brazilian officials had hoped could be announced during the summit has stalled after nearly 200 Brazilian advocacy groups sent a joint letter to Biden earlier this month, calling on him to “choose between being true to his speech and lending political prestige and money to Bolsonaro.” They warned that negotiating with the Brazilian president “is not the same as helping Brazil solve its problems.”

In a split from his past attitude toward climate change, President Jair Bolsonaro vowed at the summit to end illegal deforestation in the country by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Bolsonaro has previously criticized protections of the country’s forests and threatened to withdraw from the Paris accord. Brazil has asked the Biden administration to provide US$1 billion to pay for conservation efforts in the Amazon rainforest.

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