Bolsonaro pledges Brazil will go carbon neutral by 2050

He also recommitted Brazil to its 2015 pledge under the Paris climate agreement to "eliminate illegal deforestation... by 2030."

FILE: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gestures during a press conference regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic at the Planalto Palace, Brasilia. Picture: AFP

WASHINGTON, United States - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro told a US-hosted climate summit on Thursday the vast South American country would aim for carbon neutrality by 2050 -- a decade earlier than previously targeted.

"I have determined that our climate neutrality in Brazil will be achieved by 2050. Therefore I bring it forward by 10 years," Bolsonaro said.

He also recommitted Brazil to its 2015 pledge under the Paris climate agreement to "eliminate illegal deforestation... by 2030."

Since he came to power in January 2019, Bolsonaro has opened protected lands to mining and agribusiness.

In the 12 months to August 2020, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon increased 9.5% compared to the year before, destroying an area bigger than Jamaica, according to government data.

Bolsonaro called for a "contribution from countries, companies, entities and individuals willing to act immediately, effectively and constructively to solve these problems."

Marcio Astrini of the Climate Observatory NGO accused Bolsonaro of asking for money for environmental advances that had already been achieved and "which his government has been trying to destroy for two years."

Environmentalists have expressed concern about drastic cuts in the budget and staffing of Brazilian environmental protection agencies.

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