At a bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff committed Brazil to an agreement for both countries to obtain up to 20 percent of their electricity from renewable power by 2030, The Guardian reports.
In an effort to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change, Brazil also committed to restoring close to 30 million acres (12 million hectares) of forest — an area the size of Pennsylvania.
Modeled loosely on the historic US-China climate action agreement reached late last year, the new US-Brazil climate partnership is meant to build momentum for a global deal to fight climate change in Paris at the end of the year, writes The Guardian.
The agreement will require the US to triple its production of wind and solar power and other renewable energy technologies, and Brazil will need to double its production of clean energy. Although Brazil already produces around 75 percent of its electricity through hydropower, according to the US Energy Information Administration, this energy source is not included in the new agreement.
Brazil plans to expand renewable energy sources other than hydropower to between 28 and 33 percent of its total energy repertoire by 2030.
Increasing renewables to 20 percent of the energy market in the US may depend heavily on the success of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which has faced significant political push back on Capitol Hill and in statehouses nationwide.
In December, the eyes of the world will be fixed on Paris, where it is hoped that world leaders will agree on the first international climate treaty, which secures commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 28 percent by 2025, compared with 2005 levels. The US previously announced its full commitment to the treaty, but developing nations such as Brazil have been slower to show their support.
Some less developed nations claim that industrialized nations such as the US have polluted more historically, and ought to shoulder more of the responsibility for curbing climate change. Brazil’s new pledge may indicate many are still willing to come to the table, a good sign for the upcoming Paris talks.