Climate change certainly is one of the major challenges that all countries have to overcome, especially developing countries. The implementation of the agenda 2030 with the sustainable development goals (SDG) will be impossible if we do not have a stable climate. The need to reduce emissions and adapt to the new climate, that is already with us, is a task that will require global and regional governance. Recent increases in the magnitude and frequency of climate extremes show that the most vulnerable in our society are the ones who will suffer most. Climate change has a strong potential to affect food production, and today about 27% of emissions are associated with feeding 7.7 billion people. It will be hard to get net-zero by 2050 with the need to sequester 27% of our greenhouse gas emissions today.
Amazonia is a key region on our planet since it stores about 120 billion tons of carbon in the ecosystem. Amazonia also exports significant amounts of water vapor to the global climate system, affecting the hydrological cycle for regions far from South America through teleconnections. In addition to deforestation, climate change is bringing forest degradation to some regions, where parts of the Amazonian Forest recently started to act as a carbon source. The issue of deforestation is an important one since Brazil is deforesting about 13,400 Km² annually in 2021. There is no cheap, easy and fast way to reduce emissions as getting zero deforestation, with many co-benefits of preserving biodiversity and ecosystem services.
We will discuss the several issues associated with mitigation of emissions, as well as adapting to the new climate in South America. The region has several opportunities and vulnerabilities, with difficult choices for society. We have to build a more resilient and sustainable economy, aiming to reduce inequalities and bring a better life for our population and to humanity.