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With deforestation falling, energy sector to become Brazil’s biggest CO2 source

With its annual rate of deforestation falling more than 80 percent since 2004, energy is set to soon become Brazil’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, reports a new study seen by Reuters.

The study — to be published Wednesday by Tasso Azevedo, a former director of the Brazilian Forestry Service — projects Brazil’s national emissions since its last official inventory in 2005. It suggests that emissions from agriculture and energy use will surpass emissions from deforestation for the first time. Last year, land use change amounted to 36 percent of national emissions, followed by agriculture (28 percent) and energy (27 percent).

Energy use in Brazil is surging with the expansion of the country’s middle class. With the discovery of massive oil reserves offshore and in the Amazon, energy production is also set to rapidly increase.

Growth in emissions outside the land use sector may make it more difficult for Brazil to meet its ambitious emissions reduction target of a 36 percent reduction by 2020. Brazil is already well ahead of its deforestation reduction target, with the country’s National Space Research Institute last week reporting the lowest one-year level of deforestation since annual recording keeping began in 1988.

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