Meat and soyabean demand drives Brazilian Amazon deforestation, cumulative area deforested since 1988 (’000km2)Annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, ’000km2Top ten meat consumers, meat consumption (kg per capita), 2019

Brazil's failure to rein in the destruction of its biodiversity hotspots continued in 2020, as meat consumption levels supported the production of cattle as well as soyabeans used for animal meal.

According to Brazil's latest official data, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon in 2020 totalled more than 11,000 km2 — the most since 2008.

International investors, retail and food companies have called for a halt to deforestation while the EU-Mercosur trade agreement hangs in the balance due to European concerns over President Jair Bolsonaro's gutting of the country's environmental policies.

Ahead of a recent UN climate summit, at which Brazil was not represented, the country’s environment minister Ricardo Salles said it would become carbon neutral by 2060 — or sooner if it received $10bn in annual funding, a statement that drew scorn from environmentalists.

On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron is due to lead further calls for the protection of such ecosystems when world leaders come together for the One Planet Summit for biodiversity organised by France in co-operation with the UN and the World Bank.