Monday 24th October 2016                 Change text size:

COP19: Brazil denies responsibility over Amazon deforestation

COP19 by UNclimatechange via flickr

Brazil’s environment minister at the climate negotiations in Warsaw has blamed criminal organisations for the deforestation of the Amazon, but said that they were “isolated cases”.

Izabella Teixeira’s comments come after satellite data recently mapped a 28% increase in deforestation. At the climate talks in the Polish capital, she denied a connection between the newly approved forest code – which according to environmentalists has favoured agribusinesses – and deforestation.

Teixeira blamed local administrators for failing to protect the forests and criticised figures by NGOs as too high. She also said that criminals were responsible for clearing the Amazon – not the government.

The final stage of the UN climate talks will be held over the next four days, with UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and Polish president Donald Tusk attending.  It will focus on cities and businesses’ engagement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Elsewhere at the conference, a report by the thinktanks Germanwatch  and Climate Action Network (CAN) has revealed that Denmark and the UK are the highest ranked countries in terms of climate protection performance.

The index considered different parameters such as levels of emissions, renewable energy production, energy efficiency measures and climate policy.

Canada and Australia were deemed to be the worst performers among industrialised countries because of their respective lack of effective climate policies and U-turns on climate commitments.

No countries actually scored the highest mark available.

Wendel Trio, director of CAN Europe said, “The latest UNEP Emissions Gap report also shows that current policies of all countries are insufficient to keep the world on a pathway to stay below 2C. This should be a wake-up call for all governments to begin speeding up emission reductions.”

Further reading:

COP19: coal must ‘change rapidly and dramatically’, says UN climate chief

COP19: China urges progress on 2020 climate finance targets

COP19: Australia accused of not doing enough to tackle climate change

COP19: rich countries ‘have a moral responsibility’ to disaster-struck developing nations

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