Brazil's Amazon forest in mitigating global warming: unresolved controversies

Fearnside, Philip M.
January 2012
Climate Policy (Earthscan);2012, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p70
Academic Journal
Brazil's Amazon rainforest provides an important environmental service with its storage of carbon, thereby reducing global warming. A growing number of projects and proposals intend to reward carbon storage services. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation is currently a key issue for negotiations on an international agreement that is to take effect in 2013. Various issues require decisions that will have substantial impacts on both the effectiveness of mitigation and the scale of Amazonia's potential role. These decisions include the effects that money generated from payments can have, the spatial scale of mitigation (e.g. projects or countries and sub-national political units), whether to have voluntary or mandatory markets, and whether these reductions will generate carbon credits to offset emissions elsewhere. It is argued that national-level programmes, combined with a national target under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, are the best solution for Brazil in terms of both capturing international funding and stimulating the major cuts in global emissions that are needed to minimize climate risk to the Amazon rainforest. The high likelihood of passing a tipping point for maintaining the Amazon rainforest implies the need for urgency in altering current negotiating positions.


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