Brazilians are well aware of how human actions can affect the climate and environment not only in personal proximity also but worldwide, according to a 2010 study by the National Confederation of Industries (CNI).
The survey revealed that nearly 80 percent of Brazilians think global warming is caused by human activities. In comparison, similar surveys said 70 percent of Britons and less than 50 percent of Americans believe similarly. Additionally, the study said that roughly 90 percent of the 2,000 Brazilians interviewed believe climate change is real and is a serious issue. Approximately the same percentage of Europeans think this as well, while only 54 percent of American believe climate change is a major problem.
If action follows belief in Brazil, this could be a step in the right direction for climate change mitigation.
Brazil is the eighth largest greenhouse gas emitter—the third largest among developing countries, lagging behind China and India. Yet its causes differ from most countries: in Brazil the number one cause of greenhouse gas emissions is deforestation. Brazil is home to about one-third of the world’s rainforest. Most of this is located in the Amazon Basin. Since 1970, over 15 percent of this region’s total surface area has been destroyed by deforestation. Main causes of deforestation in Brazil continue to be: clearing land for cattle grazing, slash and burn agriculture, construction projects, commercial agriculture, and logging.
In a dangerous cycle, higher amounts of deforestation lead to more emissions that lead to accelerated climate change, which will return to hit the rainforest in a double whammy. The Amazon’s delicate biodiversity balance supports more than 56,000 species of plants, 1,700 species of birds, 578 mammals, and over 12,000 types of amphibians and reptiles, making Brazil the most biodiverse country on the planet.
But the future is not necessarily bleak. Brazil is a leader in renewable energy sources and has put programs in place to protect its valuable environment. Half of Brazilians in the CNI survey said they have a positive outlook for the future, saying that environmental conservation and market development are not mutually exclusive and can improve together.
The preservation of the Amazon rainforest is vital for keeping our planet’s climate in check, and the knowledge of the area’s global importance only makes a trip to the Amazon even more awing and inspiring. A Brazil tour is one way to fully understand the great biodiversity this region has to offer, and a Brazil trip is a great way to learn about Brazilian people and culture.