The region’s carbon dioxide emissions were 0.44 billion tons in 2019 and 0.52 billion tons in 2020, with an annual average of 0.24 billion tons between 2010 and 2018, according to the INPE study published in the journal Nature. The increase in carbon dioxide emissions is due to increased deforestation. Deforestation in the world’s largest rainforest reached a 12-year high in 2020, when 11,088 square kilometers of forest were destroyed.
Since taking office in January, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva has pledged to end deforestation by 2030 and reverse the policies of his predecessor. Under Bolsonaro, there has been a decline in environmental protection efforts. For example, the study found that the number of fines for illegal deforestation in the Amazon fell by half in 2020 compared to levels recorded in the years between 2010 and 2018.
The tide now appears to have turned. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell to its lowest monthly level since 2017 in July, and data from the National Institute for Space Research shows that 500 square kilometers of rainforest were cleared that month, a 66% decrease from the same period a year earlier. .
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