Brazil’s future promises on climate change look uncertain

Image copyright EPA Image caption Critics say the country’s plans for much of the Amazon rainforest face many big obstacles

As one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, Brazil is under intense scrutiny when it comes to climate change.

But as far as its announcement at this week’s UN conference in Poland goes, those inside the event were almost dismissive of the new policies.

The country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has been less constrained, saying the country would aim to cut emissions up to 65% from 2010 levels.

But the bill on this would be so big, it would need to be accompanied by a huge amount of money to get it through parliament.

A good example of Brazil’s record on addressing climate change – and proof that it is not a serious player – is the Amazon rainforest.

This is a forest that is already being threatened by illegal logging, the building of dams and the creation of towns and cities up to 11 km (6 miles) outside it.

And it is another large area that falls outside the Brazilian government’s control.

Another example was the big announcement from the country that it would regulate carbon markets. But it will have no impact on reducing emissions outside of Brazil, critics argue.

When we contacted Bolsonaro’s office we were told the Forestry and Environment Ministry would be speaking with us later but have not yet responded.

The party in power is a conservative government that has a poor record on green issues. Its biggest concern right now is corruption in the oil sector, which is also a major source of greenhouse gases.

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