Brazil will become the world’s first major greenhouse gas emitter to formally approve the UN’s new climate change pact on Monday, according to reports in the capital Brasilia.
“According to sources in the Brazilian executive branch, the government has already begun to plan for the early implementation of its climate plan,” said the Climate Observatory, a Brazilian NGO.
The country accounts for just over 2% of global emissions, making it the world’s seventh largest polluter.
Under plans submitted to the UN in 2015, the government wants to cut emissions 37% on 2005 levels by 2025 and end illegal deforestation in the Amazon by 2030.
“The ratification is an excellent signal. Now we need it to be followed up by a re-orientation of the Brazilian economy, so that the Paris Agreement can be more than words on paper”, says the Climate Observatory’s executive secretary Carlos Rittl.
The observatory said interim president Michel Temer wants to ratify the pact ahead of the US and China, who could deliver their formal backing by the upcoming G20 summit next week.
Reports from China overnight suggest Washington and Beijing may announce their commitment to the deal on 2 September after meetings between senior officials.
Should all three countries sign up the UN would be fast closing in on a threshold of 55 countries covering 55% of emissions for the deal to become live.