Brazil Ratifies Paris Agreement in Bid to Sharply Reduce Emissions

Today, Brazil announced that it would participate in the Paris Agreement on climate change. The first major country in South America to make this pledge.

While Brazil is the largest producer of Greenhouse gases in South America, and with a land size larger than continental United States, it only produces 2.5% of total greenhouse gases produced around the world. However, with Brazil’s aim to become an industrial powerhouse over the next few decades, pledging to ratify this agreement is a fantastic sign. It shows that they have commitment to the future.

President Michel Temer said the following when he signed the agreement during a ceremony in Brazil:

“Our government is concerned about the future” followed by “Everything we do today is not aimed at tomorrow, but rather at a future that preserves the living conditions of Brazilians.”

What is the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement is a legally-binding agreement which sets out to reduce pollution around the world. It is set to come into force in 2020, but the countries that are going to ratify the agreement are likely to get to work sooner rather than later.

Governments who sign up the agreement have pledged to agree to the following:

  • Reduce the global average temperature. This should remain 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This is a long term goal for the agreement and it is unlikely to be achieved for a few decades. The overall aim is to reach 1.5C.
  • Ensure that global emissions reach their peak as soon as possible.
  • Reduce global emissions on a yearly basis

The agreement will not come into force until 55 countries have agreed to ratify the agreement. These 55 countries must equal at least 55% of global emissions. It is predicated that this will happen later this year.

Countries are responsible for setting their own targets for yearly emissions. It is, however, worth noting that these targets must be realistic. Brazil is planning on committing to a 37% reduction in emissions by 2025. They then intend to reduce to a total of 43% by 2030. They are already on track with huge cuts made in recent years, including plans to reduce deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest.

Follows in the Footsteps of the United States

Brazils ratification of the agreement follows the signing of both the United States and China earlier this month at the G20 summit.

The United States and China are the biggest producer of greenhouse gases in the world. With those countries pledging to ratify the agreement, other countries were bound to follow suit. It is widely believed that the agreement from Barack Obama was part of his goal to be remembered as one of the greenest Presidents out there. His statement at the event was as follows:

“Where there is a will and there is a vision and where countries like China and the United States are prepared to show leadership and to lead by example, it is possible for us to create a world that is more secure, more prosperous and more free than the one that was left for us,” 

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