2.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions or 30 percent of the carbon associated with deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon between 2000 and 2010 was effectively exported in the form of beef products and soy, finds a new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
The research underscores the rising role that global trade plays in driving tropical deforestation.
The study, led by Jonas Karstensen of the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, Norway, looked at carbon emissions from beef and soy production in the Brazilian Amazon. It then calculated the share of these commodities that was exported to overseas markets.
The research found that Brazilian consumption is responsible for the vast majority of emissions from its own deforestation: 85 percent of emissions from in Brazilian beef products and 50 percent of emissions in soy products were driven by domestic consumption between 1990 and 2010. However over the past decade, the share of emissions attributable to commodity exports has increased sharply, with more Brazilian products being exported to China and Russia.