São Paulo – ​​The official deforestation rate in Brazil, released today by the PRODES satellite monitoring system, points out that 13,235 km², an area 17 times the size of New York City, was cleared in the Amazon between August 2020 and July 2021. On  average, the last three years under Bolsonaro (2019-2021) saw a 52.9% increase compared with the three previous years (2016-2018). The announcement comes a week after COP26, where the Brazilian government tried to clean up its image by signing commitments and announcing unambitious goals.

In response to the released data, Cristiane Mazzetti, Senior Campaigner for Greenpeace Brazil said: 

“There is no amount of greenwashing that can hide what Bolsonaro is doing to destroy the Amazon. If anyone believed Bolsonaro’s government’s empty promises at COP, the truth is in these numbers. Unlike Bolsonaro, the  satellites don’t lie. It’s clear measures to protect the forest, Indigenous Peoples’ rights and the global climate won’t come from this government.” 

“The level of forest destruction caused by this government is unacceptable before the climate emergency the world is facing, and the worst is yet to come if the Brazilian Congress succeeds in passing radical anti-environmental legislation that would reward land grabbing and threaten Indigenous Peoples’ lands.”

Over the past year, Brazil was one of the only countries that increased its greenhouse gas emissions, an increase of 9.5%, while the global emissions decreased by 7% on average in 2020. More than 46% of Brazil’s emissions are from deforestation and according to a recent study by Carbon Brief, Brazil has been the 5th largest cumulative carbon emitter between 1850 and 2020. 


Photos of fire monitoring in the Amazon can be found in the Greenpeace Media Library.


Karen Mota: [email protected] | +55 11 97252-6867

Greenpeace International Press Desk: [email protected], +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)