President Dilma Rousseff and Barack Obama put climate change at the top of their agenda at their bilateral meeting on Tuesday, June 30, with the US and Brazil agreeing to obtain up to 20% of their electricity from renewable power by 2030.
In a press conference, The White House said the initiatives were part of a new US-Brazil climate partnership, loosely modelled on the historic US-China agreement reached during Obama’s visit to Beijing last November, intended to build momentum for a global deal to fight climate change in Paris at the end of the year.
“Following progress during my trips to China and India, this shows that the world’s major economies can begin to transcend some of the old divides and work together to confront the common challenge that we face,” said Obama at a joint press conference with his Brazilian counterpart.
By the other side, the Brazilian president said to the press “Climate change is one of the central challenges of the 21st century, and we have one important objective, which is, number one, to ensure that the energy mix in our two countries will have a substantial share of renewable sources of energy. As countries that are as vast as continents, we have this very important greenhouse gas emissions target”.
Brazil is also committed to restoring up to 12m hectares of forest – an area about the size of the state of Pennsylvania, in another attempt to reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change.