Put an end to deforestation by 2030. This is the commitment made by more than a hundred heads of state at the start of COP26. The idea is not new. Already in 2014, during the New York Declaration, many countries and companies committed to halving deforestation by 2020 and ending it in 2030.
However, we have just learned that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest has reached its highest level since 2006.
This is what emerges from an annual report by the Brazilian government which somewhat contradicts the assertions of President Jair Bolsonaro that the country is curbing illegal logging.
Data showed that deforestation in the world's largest rainforest increased by 22% from August 2020 to July 2021.
The mass destruction comes despite Bolsonaro's efforts to show that his government is doing everything to protect the Amazon, seen as essential to ward off catastrophic climate change.
At the UN's COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in early November, the Brazilian government pledged to end illegal deforestation by 2028, a goal that would require drastic and immediate annual reductions in destruction.
But the report by Brazilian research agency INPE showed that deforestation was increasing in each of the last four cycles - a first since at least 2000.
Brazilian advocacy group Climate Observatory pointed out on social media that the report was dated October 27 - meaning that (quote), "the government went to COP26 knowing the deforestation data and hid it ".
A source familiar with the matter confirmed that the government had the data in hand before the UN summit.
The data also casts doubt on Brazil's signing of a global pledge with more than 100 other countries to eliminate deforestation globally by 2030.
Brazil was seen as a key player in this pact, as trees in the Amazon absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide. Without them and their beneficial action, temperatures would rise critically.
If this forest were to disappear or could no longer fulfill its role because it had become too small to be effective, some scientists warn that huge amounts of carbon would be released, virtually guaranteeing that the world cannot meet the targets set to avoid them. worst effects of climate change.
Brazil's environment minister told reporters the data did not reflect the recent enforcement of the law against illegal deforestation, while conceding that the government needs to do more to combat the destruction.