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Brazil embraces emissions reduction targets of 1.5 degrees to reduce catastrophic global warming

Brazilian officials are expected to announce new targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions today in what would be another bit of good news to come out of the latest international negotiations to limit climate change.

According to reports from Bloomberg News, the country's environmental minister, Joaquim Leite is expected to support UK-led initiatives to support the reduction of global warming.

The commitment to a 1.5 degree warming scenario is a step forward from previous positions which would have held the world to a 2 degree warming threshold.

While the difference may sound small, every tenth of a degree matters. The world is already living with a world that's warmed 1 degree more than it was nearly two centuries ago. And that's a world filled with more flooding, fires, droughts, and damaging storms than before.

“We want 1.5, we will state this publicly,” Paulino de Carvalho Neto, the Foreign Ministry’s secretary for multilateral political affairs, told Bloomberg. “We have no difficulty in concentrating our efforts at 1.5 instead of 2. We are in favor of that.”

Brazil is keenly aware of the issue. Over the past year, droughts, deep freezes, and raging fires have hit the nation's agricultural belt, as Bloomberg reported.

The damage to the nation's farming industry has had global implications on commodity prices and shocked an industry that's represents 4% of Brazil's economy.

A new commitment would mean that Brazil has to bring its net-zero emissions goal forward to 2050 and reduce emissions by 50% as soon as 2030.

Brazil's deputy minister also said that the country could join efforts to move international carbon markets forward.

Along with pledges to reduce methane emissions, end deforestation and promote forest restoration, stop the development of new coal-fired power plants, and invest trillions into zero-emission projects and companies, the deal on a global carbon market would be the biggest step forward from the international conference going on in Glasgow.

By putting a price on carbon and creating a marketplace for offsets, the world's nations could create additional financing mechanisms for new renewable development and an incentive for businesses to reduce their emissions.

With support from Brazil and China the holdouts on the carbon market plan at this point are the European Union and the United States.

Both object to a key demand from developing countries that would create a transaction tax on carbon trading. Effectively that tax would create a fund to help nations most affected by climate change.


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