Brazil Leaders and Opponents

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Government Official
Everton Frask Lucero
National Secretary, Climate Change Secretariat at the Environment Ministry (Secretaria de Mudanças Climáticas do Ministério do Meio Ambiente – SMCQ/MMA)

Secretary Lucero is a career diplomat. Before being appointed for this ministerial position in June 2016, he was the head of the environment department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE), as well as key advisor on climate to the head of the Brazilian delegation to the UNFCCC. In partnership with the FBMC, this department coordinates participation of civil society in COPs as members of the Brazilian delegation, with access to all official meetings in which Brazil diplomats participate.

The climate change secretariat (SMCQ) was established by the MMA to address climate policies and measures at the federal level. Its representatives participate in international negotiations providing technical support to the MRE. The SMCQ coordinated the climate change sectorial plans with civil society and other areas of government.

Government Official
José Sarney Filho (Zequinha Sarney)
Environment Minister, Ministry of Environment (Ministério do Meio Ambiente – MMA)

Minister José Sarney Filho, is an environmental congressman with the Green Party. He was appointed as Minister for a second term at the MMA, in June 2016. He is in his ninth consecutive mandate in Congress, and was Environment Minister from 1999 to 2002.

The Environment Ministry (MMA) oversees environmental policy and monitoring in Brazil. Together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), it is responsible for the implementation of the National Climate Change Policy law (PNMC) passed in December 2009. The MMA is responsible for monitoring, reporting and controlling deforestation, Brazil´s highest emitting sector. Despite its very limited power amongst the other ministries, and very little say in final decisions taken by the President, it has a key role in environmental licencing and contentious issues involving land tenure in the Amazon region. This is a sensitive issue and source of conflicts, mostly with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Contact: Chief of staff: Diva Alves Carvalho

Climate Program  Advocate
Alfredo Hélio Sirkis
Executive Secretary at the Brazilian Climate Change Forum (Fórum Brasileiro de Mudanças Climáticas–FBMC)

Alfredo Sirkis is a writer, journalist, and a renowned environmental and political activist since the early 1970s. In October 2016 he was appointed as the FBMC Executive Secretary by President Michel Temer. Sirkis is a former congressman (2012-2015), a city councillor for four mandates, having served as environmental secretary (1993-1996) and urban planning secretary (2001-2006) in Rio de Janeiro. He has been advocating on behalf of climate protection for over ten years and is the sponsor of a proposal to establish a carbon pricing mechanism being discussed by key players in Brazil.

The Brazilian Climate Change Forum (FBMC) is a national multi-stakeholder advisory body, established by Federal Decree in 2001. The FBMC is chaired by the President of Brazil, with whom a meeting is held once a year. It coordinates outreach activities and public participation vis-a-vis climate policies and measures. Since its inception, it has a key role in increasing knowledge about climate change outside the government and scientific communities, thus placing it higher in the environmental political agenda of both civil society and other levels of government.

Climate Program Advocate
Carlos Rittl
Executive Secretary of the Observatório do Clima – OC (Climate Observatory Network)

Carlos Rittl has an extensive biography in environmental and climate issues, both academically and professionally. He is an expert on environmental policies and has been an activist for over 20 years. He coordinated Greenpeace´s climate campaign in Brazil (2005-2007), and WWF Brasil´s energy and climate program (2009 – 2013). Since 2004, Carlos has participated in the COPs. In 2013, he became the OC´s Executive Secretary and is a spokesperson on behalf of the climate change CSO community in Brazil.
Observatório do Clima (OC), or Climate Observatory (OC) is a Civil Society Organization, a multi-stakeholder network created in 2002. It has 35 members, amongst civil society groups from the whole country, engaged in climate change advocacy. The OC coordinates an initiative to monitor sectorial GHG emissions inventories and reports at the national level. It developed an online platform for GHG accounting (SEEG) that issues several reports on Brazilian GHG emissions, and provides insight on the country´s performance to fight climate change.


Climate Program Advocate
Rachel Biderman
WRI Brasil Executive Director

Rachel Biderman is an acknowledged environmental leader and activist with a solid academic and professional background.

Rachel is the Director for World Resources Institute Brasil (WRI Brasil). Rachel is considered a key mover and shaker in climate change throughout Brazil. During her tenure as Deputy Coordinator at FGV’s Center for Sustainability Studies (2008-2011), she coordinated several projects including the launch of the Brazilian Green House Gas Protocol. She is currently also a co-coordinator of the Brazilian Climate Change Forum, established by President Cardoso in 2001. Rachel is a Board member of several socio-environmental organisations, including WWF Brasil. She was formerly the President of Greenpeace Brasil’s Board between 2011 and 2013, and is a member of the Forest GAC of the World Economic Forum since 2014.


Climate Program Opponent
Blairo Maggi
Minister, Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Ministry of Agriculture, Farming and Supply)

Blairo Maggi is one of the most important soy producers in the world and the biggest individual producer in Brazil. Maggi began his political career as deputy in 1994, becoming an elected senator in1999 for an eight-year mandate; he was once again elected for office in 2011. He was appointed Agriculture Minister in May 2016. Blairo Maggi was the governor of Mato Grosso for 2 consecutive mandates (2003-2007 and 2007-2010), and was known as a fierce opponent to climate change. However, he became more moderate in his second term as governor, supporting the Mato Grosso´s climate action policies which culminated in State Law 9878, passed in 2013.

The Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA) oversees policies and management of agriculture, provides support to agribusiness, regulates and enforces norms on services related to the sector. Given the importance of agribusiness to the Brazilian economy, it´s a powerful stakeholder, and usually an opponent to environmental policies. Recently they lobbied against the MMA´s transparency policy to divulge data on rural properties and individuals that includes their environmental record (Cadastro Ambiental Rural).


Learn More

For further information on the MMA see
For further information on Mr. Sirkis see (in Portuguese only)
For further information on the Agriculture Ministry, see


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