Environment

Brazil Ratifies Paris Deal, Joining Top Polluters US and China

Buildings are seen amid a layer of smog in the city of Sao Paulo during the driest season in decades August 5, 2015. Credit: Reuters

Buildings are seen amid a layer of smog in the city of Sao Paulo during the driest season in decades August 5, 2015. Credit: Reuters

Brasilia/Sao Paulo: Brazil, one of the world’s largest emitters of heat-trapping gases, on Monday ratified the Paris agreement to fight global warming, joining top polluters US and China, and bringing the deal closer to implementation.

Brazil‘s President Michel Temer signed the ratification in Brasilia following approval by both houses of Congress. The US and China had ratified the deal on September 3.

With Brazil‘s ratification, the Paris climate agreement comes closer to the requirements to enter into force. It needs ratification by at least 55 parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change representing at least 55% of global emissions.

The UN said that by September 7 it had 27 ratifications amounting to 39% of global emissions. Brazil accounts for around 10-12% of global carbon pollution.

Temer, who took over the presidency permanently last month after predecessor Dilma Rousseff was removed from office on charges of breaking budget laws, said Brazil‘s support for the climate deal has not changed with the new government.

With its ratification, Brazil reinforced its commitment to cut carbon emissions by 37% by 2025 and 43% by 2030, compared to 2005.

The Paris deal aims to limit average temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. The agreement also calls for countries to do their best to try to limit that rise to 1.5 degrees.

Climate experts said Brazil now needs to work on a plan to fulfil its pledges.

Carlos Rittl, who leads a network of environmental organisations called Climate Observatory, said the government should include the climate agenda in its economic planning.

He criticised the recent focus on oil reserves development, saying renewables such as wind and solar power would help generate many more jobs at a time of high unemployment as Brazil is immersed in its deepest recession in generations.

The Climate Observatory published last week a study saying Brazil‘s pledges to the conference could be more challenging. It urged the government to increase its ambitions by quickly adjusting its Paris goals.

(Reuters)