Efforts to reduce deforestation to mitigate climate change and to conserve biodiversity are taking place on a global scale. While many studies have estimated the emissions occurring from deforestation, few have quantified the domestic and international drivers sustaining deforestation rates. This study establishes the link between Brazilian deforestation and production of cattle and soybeans and allocates emissions between 1990 and 2010 along the global supply chain to the countries that consume products dependent on Brazilian deforestation. The study finds that 30 per cent of the carbon emissions associated with deforestation were exported from Brazil in the last decade, of which 29 per cent were due to soybean production and 71 per cent to cattle ranching. The authors conclude that trade is emerging as a key driver of deforestation in Brazil and this may indirectly contribute to loss of the forests that industrialised countries are seeking to protect through international agreements.
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