On Sunday, incumbent Jair Bolsonaro faced left-wing politician Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (commonly called Lula) in the second round of elections. Lula was a former president who was imprisoned as a result of a corruption case, but his sentence was eventually overturned. In the meantime a statementAnd that the attorney general who accuses him called a judge against the law and that he wanted to prevent the president’s party from winning the elections.
After his release from prison, Lula returned to politics and announced that he would run for elections. Opinion polls have shown him as a clear candidate in the possible first and second rounds of the elections, but in recent weeks the gap between him and Bolsonaro has begun to narrow. There has also been speculation about whether the incumbent president will attempt to tamper with the election results. In the end, Lola won by a rather narrow margin of votes – Down from 51 percent to 49. For Brazilians, this is a multi-dimensional change – from human rights and social issues to the economy and access to weapons. for ¶ dominate There was another fundamental difference between the politicians – the approach to climate change, the environment and the protection of the Amazon rainforest. Climate activists and scientists celebrated Lula’s victory on Sunday as an opportunity to protect Earth’s major ecosystem. But even with good intentions, stopping the devastation in the Amazon may not be easy.
Amazon on the edge of the abyss
The Amazon rainforest is the largest forest in the world, a treasury of biodiversity that affects the climate of the entire planet. It has been systematically destroyed for decades. The main cause of deforestation is Create pastures for raising livestock Brazil is the world’s largest beef exporter. In addition, the forest is also cleared for small and large crops (such as soybeans, mainly for animal feed) or for the sale of timber. However, the area deforested for pasture is many times larger than for any other use.
Under Bolsonaro, deforestation has grown year by year. This was in line with statements by a right-wing politician since the campaign began, in which he indicated that he would be friendly with big business, and that he did not deal with the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon region or the warnings of environmentalists. During three years of rule, an area of forest covering the size of Belgium was destroyed.
Each subsequent year brought disturbing news. According to the April report Amazon “on the edge of the abyss”. Scientists fear it’s close to nothing Beyond the tipping pointAnd then the forest will stop regenerating, it will start to dry up on its own – due to lack of water – and turn into a savannah. This will have serious consequences not only for the Amazon itself, but will also have a negative impact on the climate of the entire continent and the world. Currently, due to deforestation, the area can It emits more carbon dioxide than it absorbs.
Another term in Bolsonaro’s office likely brings more of what is already known – loosening and ignoring environmental standards, increasing deforestation and destroying forests. That is why environmentalists around the world pin high hopes on the chance of his removal from power and Lula’s victory. The leftist politician has promised to restore environmental regulation, a broad green agenda and “defend the Amazon against the policy of destruction” pursued by the Bolsonaro government. Most importantly, Lula has more than just promises to show: his first reign in 2003-2010 was a period of historic decline in deforestation, from 27,700 to 27,700. Square kilometers are up to 7 thousand For Bolsonaro, this level rose to 13,000. In 2021 .
Can Lola make it?
Lula started with bold promises – he wrote on Twitter on the evening of the elections that “Brazil is ready to return to the leading role in the fight against the climate crisis, protecting all our biomes (a large area with a specific climate, with distinctive characteristics). Fauna and flora) and especially the Amazon. Our government has succeeded. in reducing deforestation in the Amazon by 80%. Now let us fight for no deforestation.”
Specialized Service carbonbrief.org It is calculated that Lula can reduce deforestation by 89%. By 2030 – compared to what would have happened under Bolsonaro.
as describes Reutershalting deforestation in the Amazon is just one part of Lula’s broad green agenda, compared to already New one The Green Deal in the United States and the European Union. half a million kilometers The Amazon plaza will be protected; The country will begin to combat illegal deforestation and support sustainable agriculture. However, there are many obstacles in the way of realizing these plans.
First: Will Bolsonaro agree to a peaceful transfer of power? The outgoing president is a former military man who spoke positively of the military dictatorship in Brazil in the second half of the twentieth century. Before the elections, he indicated that it may not be fair. Concerns arose about whether he would legally agree to relinquish power, or whether he would try not to recognize the vote (similar to Donald Trump in the US). The day after the elections, he did not congratulate the winning president and did not comment on the recognition of its results. Leaders of other countries, from Joe Biden, were quick to congratulate, which may be a warning sign about a possible questioning of the outcome by Bolsonaro.
The Brazilian Congress may be another problem for Lula. In the parliamentary elections In early October, right-wing candidates, Bolsonaro’s allies, had a huge success. As Reuters explains, there is no approval Parliament Even the simplest activities of the boss can be banned. For example, without agreeing on the budget, it will be difficult or impossible to enhance environmental protection services. However, it may protect more than half a million square kilometers of the Amazon, which has an undetermined status and often falls victim to illegal logging. A presidential decree is sufficient for this.
In addition to right-wing parliamentarians, Lula’s opponents may be large agribusinesses and others profiting from deforestation. Instead, he can count on allies abroad, among other South American leftist leaders (including. Colombia’s first left-wing president It also has a strong climate agenda) or Western politicians who make the fight against climate change their banner. The president’s plans are also to cooperate with other nations with the rainforests (Indonesia and Congo) to persuade rich nations to donate money to protect nature.
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