Spotlight Activity: New President May Pose A Big Threat to the Global Environmental Agenda
Brazil’s move away from its commitment to forest protection and its proposed shift to zero-carbon fuels may undermine progress made in climate action in recent years, something profoundly dangerous. This assumption is the major fear among non-governmental environmental protection groups, which expressed concern about the victory of Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) in the presidential race.
So far, little is known about Bolsonaro’s political project for the Brazilian environmental portfolio, and, actually, he barely mentioned the theme in his candidacy plan, but has given the idea of subordinating the Ministry of the Environment to the Ministry of Agriculture. During the campaign, Bolsonaro spoke about reducing Ibama’s (Brazilian National Environmental Regulatory Agency) inspection work, liberating mining in indigenous lands and removing Brazil from the Climate Agreement in Paris.
Turning the back to Agreement and adaptation measures to climatic extremes would be disastrous for the country: from the geopolitical, commercial, development and, above all, the security of Brazilian citizens, point of view, which the president-elect vowed to prioritize. Brazil is the country that kills most environmentalists (57 last year) in the world, and according to the Observatório do Clima (a Brazilian Environmental NGO), the country needs to strengthen the Ministry of the Environment, and its related bodies, and extend the protected areas policy, which includes creation of conservation units and the demarcation and homologation of indigenous lands.
Status: Falling Behind
Researchers and environmentalists consider the proposal to leave the Agreement, and the possible weakening of the Ministry of the Environment and Ibama, as a backsliding. Almost the entire Brazilian commitment to Paris 2015 Agreement is fulfilled by achieving the goal of zeroing deforestation. However, the next Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, does not show he is sensitive to climate issues, and, in fact, he has made a very favorable speech to the expansion of Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU).
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