The frontrunner in the Brazilian presidential race, Jair Bolsonaro, has said he would follow Donald Trump and take Brazil out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. UN officials have reacted furiously, fearing this would be a devastating blow to international climate negotiations.
The withdrawal of South America’s largest emitter would be particularly embarrassing given that Brazil is currently expected to host the 2019 UN climate summit. He has not yet given a full explanation of his position, but has recently appeared in an interview with a prominent Brazilian climate sceptic and has shared an article defending Trump’s decision to pull America out of the agreement.
Megan Darby, Climate Home
In an unpredictable race, the right-wing Bolsonaro is polling second behind Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the socialist former president. But “Lula” is in jail for corruption and likely to be disqualified by the courts, leaving a scattered field.
That stance drew ire from UN environment chief Erik Solheim. Action on climate change would create “healthier and wealthier” economies, he told Climate Home News.
“A rejection of the Paris Agreement is a rejection of science and fact,” Solheim said. “It’s also a false promise, because politicians who present climate action as a cost to society have got it all wrong.”
Last week, Brazil’s government released a statement declaring the country had met its 2020 forest emissions target three years early.
“The policy message is that we can and should remain in the Paris Agreement (because) it is possible to effectively implement the commitments that have been made,” Thiago Mendes, secretary of climate change in the Environment Ministry, told Reuters.
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August 15, 2018 at 12:08PM