Brazil has followed the US and China as the third-largest emitting country to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change. Major emitters Russia, India, Japan and Germany have still to sign up to the accord.
President Michel Temer, who succeeded impeached President Dilma Rousseff last month, made the announcement on Monday at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia.
Brazil emits about 2.5 percent of the world's carbon dioxide and other polluting gases, according to data from the United Nations.
The decision by a major emitter to ratify the accord represents a major boost to its prospects and may encourage other countries to ratify it as well.
Temer said Brazil's ratification would be presented formally to the United Nations later this month.
"We are following a path Brazil started on long ago," President Michel Temer said during a ceremony announcing the agreement in the capital Brasilia. "The climate issue is for the state. It is an obligation for all governments."
Brazil is home to the world's largest tropical rainforest
"Signing the Paris Agreement will help the country's development by guiding growth without damaging the environment," Brazil's Environment Minister, Jose Sarney Filho, said at the ratification ceremony Monday.
Foreign Minister Jose Serra said the Paris climate agreement created a milestone for efforts to reduce climate change: "Few international instruments have had such widespread support."
UN ratification ceremony
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called world leaders to the UN headquarters next week for a ratification ceremony.
Some 175 nations have already signed the Paris Agreement, which will enter into force once 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions have formally joined it. So far, according to the World Resources Institute, 27 other countries have ratified the agreement, representing about 39 percent of global emissions.
There are four countries which emit more greenhouse gases than Brazil: Russia, which accounts for 7.5 percent of emissions, India, 4.1 percent, Japan, 3.79 percent and Germany, 2.56 percent. All four have still to ratify the Paris agreement.
Brazil has committed to cutting greenhouse-effect gas emissions by 37 percent before 2025, with a possible 43 percent reduction by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. The South American nation has reduced deforestation in the Amazon and increased the use of energy from hydropower and other renewable sources including wind, solar and biomass over the last decade.
jm/gsw (AP, Reuters)