* Brazil aims to cut emissions to levels in 1990s
* Pledge seen aimed at encouraging cuts by other nations
* Target is not internationally binding
(Adds quotes, details)
By Carmen Munari
SAO PAULO, Nov 13 Brazil raised the pressure on
other nations on Friday ahead of a world climate summit,
pledging deep cuts in its greenhouse gases over the next decade
that would take its emissions back to 1990s levels.
Latin America's largest economy is committing to cut its
emissions by between 36.1 percent and 38.9 percent from
projected 2020 levels, Dilma Rousseff, President Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva's chief of staff, told reporters in Sao Paulo.
Brazil's emissions would drop to near 1994 levels of 1.7
billion tonnes if the top end of the pledged range is met. That
would represent about a 20 percent cut from the 2.1 million
tonnes emitted in 2005.
The pledge, while voluntary and not internationally
binding, aims to encourage other nations to adopt aggressive
cuts and could make a global deal more likely at the December
summit in Copenhagen, which aims to forge a new climate pact.
"With this, Brazil destroys the main argument of the rich
countries -- that developing countries don't want to adopt
targets," said Paulo Moutinho, a researcher with the Amazon
Institute for Environmental Studies.
"I hope the developed countries are embarrassed by Brazil's
position and adopt more effective targets."
But Brazil's proposal contained no specific emissions
reduction for industry, meaning much of the weight of the cuts
will fall on its vast forestry and agriculture sector.
The cuts, which assume annual economic growth of between 4
and 6 percent, would not hamper Brazil's economy, Environment
Minister Carlos Minc said.
"Brazil will grow and develop. We will create more green
jobs, more efficient jobs, a cleaner energy matrix, more
efficient agriculture," he said.
Brazil, among the world's biggest carbon polluters mostly
due to deforestation, has become a major player in climate
negotiations after years of rejecting such talks and saying the
onus was entirely on rich countries to cut emissions.
PRESSURE ON U.S.?
Developing nations such as China and India want rich
countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40
percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
Rich countries in turn have called on developing countries
to do their part by cutting emissions significantly by 2020.
The European Union wants developing nations to cut projected
2020 emissions by 15-20 percent.
Brazil hopes to nudge other countries to adopt more
aggressive emissions targets. But wary of undermining its
negotiating strategy, the government says its new goal is a
domestic target and not internationally binding.
The talks in Copenhagen aim to reach agreement to succeed
an accord adopted in Kyoto to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
which are blamed for global warming.
"It's very positive. Finally Brazil is adopting a target.
Two years ago it was a crime to talk about an emissions target
in Brazil," said Joao Talocchi, climate campaign coordinator
for environmental group Greenpeace.
"It can have a big influence on other countries. The United
States called on Brazil to do more and it did, now Washington
is in the spot light. It needs to go to the negotiating table
in Copenhagen with an aggressive proposal."
The emissions pledge came a day after Brazil's government
announced that destruction of the Amazon rain forest fell to
its lowest level in 21 years.
(Additional reporting by Raymond Colitt and Eduardo Simoes;
writing by Stuart Grudgings; editing by Paul Simao)