It would be politically difficult for countries like Brazil, China and India to accept emission reduction targets. On the other hand, at least in Brazil, there is a broad, and unexplored, avenue for reducing carbon emissions: deforestation.

On 10 December, the country announced its national inventory of emissions, revealing that about three-quarters of Brazilian emissions come not from industry, energy or transport sectors but from land use in the Amazon region.

Unfortunately, however, conservation of primary forests (meaning avoidance of deforestation) has not been included in the Kyoto Protocol's clean development mechanism.

The author is a contributor to SciDev.Net