The Santos Paris Agreement: A Milestone in the Fight Against Climate Change
In December 2015, the world witnessed a historic moment in the global fight against climate change: the signing of the Paris Agreement at the COP21 summit. Among the signatories was Brazil`s then-president, Michel Temer, who pledged to take action to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and help limit the rise in global temperatures to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
However, it was Temer`s predecessor, President Dilma Rousseff, who had set Brazil on the path to the Paris Agreement with the signing of the Santos Declaration in 2015. Named after the Brazilian city where it was adopted, the Santos Declaration committed Brazil to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 37% by 2025, with a further reduction of 43% by 2030.
This ambitious target was praised by world leaders and climate activists alike, as Brazil is one of the world`s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, largely due to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. In fact, deforestation accounted for over 75% of Brazil`s emissions in 2014, according to data from the country`s Ministry of Environment.
To achieve its emissions reduction targets, Brazil committed to a range of measures, including expanding renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency, and promoting sustainable agriculture. The government also pledged to increase the coverage of protected areas in the Amazon rainforest, which plays a crucial role in regulating global climate patterns.
Despite these commitments, Brazil`s progress towards meeting its targets has been mixed. In 2019, deforestation rates in the Amazon rainforest reached their highest level in over a decade, leading to widespread criticism from environmental groups and foreign governments. President Jair Bolsonaro`s administration has been accused of prioritizing economic development over environmental protection, leading to a relaxation of environmental regulations and a surge in deforestation.
Nonetheless, Brazil remains a key player in the global fight against climate change, and the Santos Paris Agreement stands as a milestone in the country`s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. It remains to be seen whether Brazil will be able to meet its ambitious targets, but one thing is clear: the world is watching, and the fate of the planet hangs in the balance.