U.S. sees progress with Brazil on climate talksby Todd Benson, August 6, 2009
SAO PAULO (Reuters) -- Brazil has the clout and credibility to assert itself as a leading voice in world climate talks to help ensure the success of any new treaty aimed at reducing global warming, the top U.S. environmental diplomat said on Thursday.
Already a pioneer in clean energy and the use of biofuels such as cane-based ethanol [Give me a break -- that is a myth! Sure, they have hydroelectric dams, and a very low percentage of cars run on ethanol, but it sure makes for good press.], Brazil could cement its pro-environment credentials if it succeeds in slowing the destruction of the Amazon rain forest, U.S. climate change envoy Todd Stern said after a three-day visit to the South American nation.
"They have a huge challenge but also a huge opportunity with respect to the Amazon," he told a small group of reporters in Sao Paulo before departing for the United States.
"The avoided deforestation will count as emissions reductions in the agreement we're negotiating," Stern said, adding that he recognizes how difficult it is to protect such a vast rain forest as the Amazon.
Last year, Brazil abandoned years of opposition to deforestation targets and pledged to reduce destruction of the Amazon by 50% in a decade. [Yeah, right. If you want to see the rainforest, go look now, because in a decade there may be so much drought that it will mostly go up in flames.]
Official data released this week showed Brazil is making some progress in slowing the destruction of the world's largest rain forest, prompting Environment Minister Carlos Minc to predict that deforestation could fall to a 20-year low. [OK, more bull. There were so many clouds over the Amazon for so many days, that the satellite that looks at the Amazon was not able to do any calculations during June, I think it was.] [Poor Minc is about to go nuts and resign, just like his predecessor, because nothing works, no agreement is followed, no loggin company is doing what they promise to do on paper, and Lula is not doing anything at all to enforce the laws because his party is in on the take from the logging companies.]
While it is making some inroads in preserving the Amazon, Brazil has long been reluctant to adopt strict greenhouse gas emissions targets, arguing that the onus should be on rich countries to do more to reduce global warming.
Stern, who was the senior White House negotiator at the Kyoto Protocol negotiations in 1997, acknowledged developed nations have a greater responsibility to cut back on emissions. But he also suggested that big emerging markets like Brazil will have to do their part if a new global climate treaty is to be agreed upon at a summit in Copenhagen in December.
"I think Brazil is at a point right now in its development where it is very rightfully, from my point of view, seeking to lift itself up onto the global stage," he said.
"And I think that an issue like this, which is of enormous importance to the world ... is an ideal opportunity for Brazil to demonstrate leadership on the global stage. And if you want to be a global player, that's what you have to do."
Stern, who met with Minc, Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's chief of staff Dilma Rousseff on his trip, said he came away with the sense that the Brazilians were ready to embrace the opportunity to show leadership in global climate talks.
"I actually think Brazil is going to do that," he said. [Boy, this Stern guy is living in la-la land.]
In an interview with Reuters on June 10, 2009, Lula said Brazil would be open to adopting emissions targets if wealthy nations commit to do more to curb climate change. [Lula knows what to say in public -- these words mean absolutely nothing except to the naive foreigners. And, yes, you foreigners are being laughed at for your incredible naivete.]
The world needs to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 if the worst effects of climate change are to be avoided, according to the United Nations' Climate Panel.
Poorer nations [wrong], led by emerging market giants like China and Brazil, have been pushing rich countries to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 40% or more. Wealthy countries, however, have balked at the proposal out of fear of hamstringing their economies.
[Tenney here: get it out of your heads that Brazil is a poor country -- it is enormously wealthy! The politicians receive billions in kickbacks, not millions, not thousands, but billions. They have zero incentive to do anything to protect the rainforest. And what can we do about it? NADA!]
Stern's visit to Brazil comes two weeks after a similar trip to India, another big emerging market and influential player in global climate negotiations. The talks with Indian officials made little headway on issues such as emissions cuts and transfer of green technology.
(Editing by Todd Eastham)