Scientists Say Brazil's Emissions Are Higher due to Forest Degradation Is Taken into Account

Forest fires and edge effect release an amount of carbon similar to that of deforestation

Giovana Girardi

Deforestation in the Amazon is, today and historically, the main source of greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil. But other deep damage to the forest remaining may be emitting almost the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere as that emitted due to deforestation.

If this calculation were included in emission inventories, Brazil's responsibility for global warming would be much greater.

The alert comes from a group of Brazilian scientists who are studying the issue.

They suggest that forest degradation caused by forest fires, illegal logging, and the impoverishment of trees bordering areas already entirely felled (known as the edge effect) should be considered in the discussions at COP26, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, starting Sunday (31).

At the meeting in which 196 countries will try to advance in the fight against climate change, how much each will attempt to reduce their emissions is also at stake.

According to the Climate Observatory's Greenhouse Gas Emission Estimation System, Brazil should reduce deforestation, which alone currently accounts for about 44% of the country's emissions.

But for scientists, the country, like other nations with tropical forests, should also present targets to combat degradation.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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