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Amazon deforestation at work: carbon emissions rise as green groups denounce sham tours

NGOs said the government’s itinerary did not show the reality of the Amazon and impact of deforestation and recent fires. Photo:Reuters


Amazon deforestation at work: carbon emissions rise as green groups denounce sham tours


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | NOVEMBER 7th 2020


According to a report published on Friday, throughout the first year of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s government in power, carbon emissions in the country had seen a rise of 9.6% due to Amazon deforestation increase.

The published study was performed by the Greenhouse Gas Emission and Removal Estimating System (SEEG) – an initiative made by the Climate Observatory with the intention of monitoring annual carbon emission releases in Brazil. According to the report, the country released the equivalent of 2.175 billion tons of carbon dioxide in the year of 2019.

“We are dangerously going in the wrong direction,” said climate expert Tasso Azevedo, who had coordinated the SEEG study. “Since regulation of the national climate law in 2010, Brazil has increased by 28% the amount of greenhouse gases it discharges into the air annually, instead of reducing it.”

Data shows that through the years of 2004 to 2012, Brazil had been managing to reduce its overall carbon footprint. This has changed, however, in the last decade with the new data revealing a significant and very dangerous rise. What it shows is that the country is on the verge of failing its emission targets for this year, and is on a downward slope to achieving its 2025 emission targets set under the Paris Climate Accords.

“Our 2020 goal was easy to reach. We were only going to miss it if there was a tragedy – and that’s exactly what’s happening,” said the Climate Observatory executive secretary, Marcio Astrini.

What’s further enraged several green groups is the Brazilian government’s “sham” three-day tour organised for foreign ambassadors, which had been staged in a manner that would hide the country’s failure to handle the recent environmental disasters – thus painting itself in an environmentally positive light.

“They are flying on a route that’s strategically planned to hide the evidence of the destruction of the forest, even as deforestation and wildfires are at a 10-year high,” Greenpeace said in a statement, commenting on the tours which had been labelled “propaganda” tours.

The tour took place only in the well-protected parts of the Amazon rainforest, completely omitting the parts that had been torn down for deforestation and industry. Hamilton Mourão, Brazilian vice-president, had been the host of the tour and stated that seeing the deforested and fire-scorched areas was “not necessary” for the visitors.

“The government prepared an itinerary that does not show the reality of the Amazon,” Astrini stated. “The abandonment of indigenous peoples, the land grabbing, the illegal mining and the uncontrolled deforestation. It is a sham.”

“I hope the ambassadors clearly understand this is nothing more than media propaganda that does not represent reality,” said Greenpeace Brazil’s Amazonian campaigner, Cristiane Mazzetti. Before the trip began, Greenpeace had offered the travelling ambassadors and alternative travel route that would showcase the destruction to the Amazon – which the green group hoped would have highlighted to them the importance of taking action sooner rather than later.

Both deforestation, and Amazonian wildfires had hit a 10-year high. Deforestation between 2018 and 2019, and the wildfires in the present year of 2020. In a speech to the United Nations, the president Bolsonaro had made the false claim that no fires had been burning the Amazon by any devastating capacity. Rather than the industry he gave power to, he had blamed both the forest’s indigenous people, as well as what he called a “disinformation campaign anchored on shady interests.”

Environmental protections were almost entirely taken down by Bolsonaro’s government since his election. Equipment found or confiscated from illegal loggers has not been permitted for destruction as it once had been – if anything, illegal logging has been encouraged in recent times. Figures for deforestation are still rising, and environmentalists have been losing their jobs. As it is now, Brazil is on its way to becoming fully industrialised whilst creating a fake picture of environmentalism for the outside world.


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2020