The Brazilian Low Carbon Agriculture Plan Raises Expectations at the Climate Talks in Cancun, Mexico

The article “Brazilian farmers are unlikely climate heroes” has been published in the December 8, 2010 electronic edition of New Scientist.  It highlights the announcement, during the climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, of the “Low-carbon Agriculture Plan” recently launched by the Brazilian Government to cut direct farm carbon dioxide emissions by 170 million tonnes a year.  See below an excerpt and the link to the original article at

Brazilian farmers are unlikely climate heroes

Here is the good news from Cancun. Brazil, so often demonised for its destruction of the Amazon rainforest, is turning over a new leaf. In the past year it has transformed a sketchy promise made in Copenhagen to cut emissions to 36 to 39 per cent below business-as-usual by 2020 into a detailed science-based plan. And much of the work will be done by the industry most responsible for trashing the Amazon – cattle ranching and commercial agriculture.

World-wide, agriculture is directly responsible for roughly 15 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions – a figure that does not include emissions from the deforestation is causes. Yet the climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, have so far failed to address this industry’s contribution to global warming. Against all odds, Brazil is now bidding to go from the bad boy of forestry and agriculture to their poster child.

Researchers at the state-backed Brazilian agricultural research corporation, EMBRAPA, on Wednesday unveiled a detailed “low-carbon agriculture” plan that they said would cut direct farm carbon dioxide emissions by 170 million tonnes a year, and save as much again by curbing the invasion of rainforests by farmers...

Click here to read the complete version of this article at the New Scientist Environment page.


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