Brazil cuts environment budget a day after the climate summit
Brazil cuts environment budget a day after pledging support to curb deforestation in the Amazon forest during the climate summit.
President Jair Bolsonaro approved the environment ministry’s budget after vowing to boost spending to tackle deforestation.
During the US-led climate summit, Jair Bolsonaro promised to double the expenditure for environmental enforcement and to end illegal deforestation in the Amazon by 2030.
Brazil cuts environment budget
However, the budget signed off on Friday after the summit did not reflect his spending pledge or additional proposals made by Congress.
The Environment Minister Ricardo Salles however said he had requested the economy ministry to review the budget and fulfill the pledge made by President during the climate summit.
Brazil’s unfriendly environmental policies
Brazil’s government has over time weakened environmental protection and wants to develop protected areas.
Critics say the president’s promises during the climate summit were linked to a controversial deal between Brazil-US to receive financial aid in return for protecting the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest.
The environmental policies of President Bolsonaro have drawn widespread condemnation around the world. The president’s policies have encouraged agriculture and mining in the Amazon and rolled back environmental legislation.
Environmental Activists and indigenous groups say environmental enforcement remains underfunded and denounces the impunity for illegal logging and mining in protected areas.
The president rejects the criticism and says Brazil remains an example for conservation. But at the climate summit, he attempted to strike a more conciliatory tone. He promised that Brazil would reach zero carbon emissions by 2050, 10 years earlier than previously agreed.
Brazil-US climate negotiations
Brazilian and US officials have been discussing the possibility of collaborating to stop the destruction of the Amazon. Politicians and environmentalists have warned that the Bolsonaro government should show results first before any financial commitment is made.
A group of 35 US and Brazilian celebrities voiced their opposition to a deal with Brazil, saying it risked legitimizing a government that was encouraging environmental destruction.
The document followed another letter in which more than 200 Brazilian groups told President Biden that the Bolsonaro government was an “enemy” of the Amazon and that it did not have the legitimacy to represent Brazil.
The Brazil environment minister said the country would need $1bn in foreign aid to support efforts to reduce deforestation in the Amazon by 30% to 40% in a year.