It is not just the future of the United States that is at stake in the Brazilian elections. Amazonbut the whole planetDue to the great importance of this enormous forest for the global climate as a whole. Harassed by the cattle and forestry industry and exploited by countless outlaws of all kinds, experts think the Amazon will not survive another four years under a hypothetical new government of Jair Bolsonaro. Hopes rise if final victory goes to Inazio Lula, but this does not mean that all problems are solved.
The Amazon rainforest plays a vital role in the global climate as a major carbon dioxide reservoir, but recent research has shown that fires and felling of trees mean this area is emitting more CO2 than it currently absorbs.. Researchers announced in March that the Amazon is approaching a tipping point where the forest will no longer be viable in the future, with consequences for the global climate and biodiversity.
Amazon devastated for four wild years
Bolsonaro became president at the beginning of 2019 and has suppressed many of the environmental protection regulations in effect during these years and has been unusually aggressively promoting the colonization of the forest. The same research shows that CO2 emissions doubled in 2019 and 2020 compared to the previous decade’s average, Due to increased deforestation and fires, previous laws were repealed and illegal farmers and businessmen were given a wide berth.
“Bolsonaro took Brazil back to the days of the Wild West we thought we had left behind,” Adriana Ramos of the Brazilian Socio-Environmental Institute, which works to protect indigenous peoples, told The Guardian.
Therefore, it would not be an exaggeration to say this. Amazon’s fate depends on the outcome of these October 2 elections. If Bolsonaro wins another term in office, he could cross the world’s largest rainforest tipping point. If he loses, we have the opportunity to bring him and Brazil back to the brink,” he adds.
Luciana Gatti of Brazil’s space exploration agency INPE led the research, which is about to be published in Nature, based on hundreds of aerial samples collected by small planes over the Amazon over the past decade, with “alarming” results. CO2 emissions increased by 89% in 2019 and 122% in 2020 compared to the 2010-18 average.
The main reason for the increase in emissions in 2020 was the 74% increase in deforestation and the 42% increase in fire-burned areas. Same year, fines for environmental crimes reduced by 89% According to the same newspaper, with a similar situation in 2019, the number of violations recorded by the authorities decreased by 54%.
What will Lula da Silva do?
Now, will Lula da Silva be the immediate remedy for such a dire situation? Experts confirm that if Lula implements the measures he has planned in this region, the destruction in the Amazon can be expected to decrease by 90%.
presidential candidate announces it will reduce logging and promote greater environmental protection. “Although the Amazon is Brazil’s sovereign territory, The wealth it produces should be used by all the inhabitants of planet Earth.”
Actually, most Pressure to stop burning the Amazon comes from outside Brazil. Norway, which joined Germany in 2019 to protest Bolsonaro’s policies by suspending payments to the Amazon Fund, an international protection initiative, announced that it will continue to contribute if the government’s policy on this issue changes, according to the Infobae agency.
And this Lula is aware that foreign capital plays a key role in the country’s economic future. and, in turn, said capital pays close attention to what the Brazilian government is doing in the Amazon. The dire environmental reputation the country is currently listing severely penalizes some industries, such as raw material production.
“Lula is incorporating environmental issues into her program in a way she has never done in her previous campaigns,” said Christopher Garman, Managing Director of Eurasia Group Americas. “She clings to it to point out to the private sector that there are opportunities here. If she gets this question right, Brazil could benefit from an investment cycle.”
If Bolsonaro wins, deforestation and illegal gold mining look poised to expand. Lula, on the other hand, seems determined to take steps to contain the fire and gain the trust of investors abroad. Steps he can take include increasing law enforcement, restoring the protection of indigenous lands, and establishing protected areas.
But Lula also supports farmers
But it won’t be easy. Amazon regions are isolated and filled with violent gangs. And more importantly, Lula unlikely to take over the agribusiness. This was noted when he began his campaign at the end of July, when he sent his centrist running mate Geraldo Alckmin to calm ranchers and farmers.
And the increase in agriculture’s participation in Brazil’s gross domestic product in the last three years has increased from 20% to 28% of the country’s economy.$1.7 billion, according to the University of São Paulo. Pro-agricultural lawmakers control almost half of the seats in Congress.
In fact, Lula was president from 2003 to 2010, when commodity prices rose dramatically. Under his rule, Brazil experienced an unprecedented investment boom. The real currency appreciated more than any other major currency, doubling its value against the dollar. Lula used this unexpected cash to pay for ambitious housing, education and social welfare programs that have helped lift tens of millions of people out of poverty.
Actually, Lula’s biggest concern is the starvation that has devastated the country, rather than the destruction of the Amazon. Prices of basic goods skyrocketed and hunger became a serious problem. For example, since 2020, the price of beans, a staple food in Brazil, has increased by 23% and the price of chicken by 18%. 33 million Brazilians are currently hungry.
The fight against poverty and the fight to protect the environment do not always go hand in hand. This was proven during the eight years that Lula was president. Some of their social policies have been very harmful to the environment.
During his two terms in office, Lula established several family farm settlements as part of his anti-poverty program. When his government forgave the people who had occupied farms and ranches that had been deforested for years, he unleashed a disastrous cycle of land grabs and deforestation in the Amazon.. Bolsonaro fueled the rush to land by speeding up title deed to these properties.
Over two decades, through government agreements, hundreds of thousands of families have acquired small plots of land that can sustain a decent standard of living. During the Lula years, bloody conflicts between large ranchers and small producers were the norm.
Now the hope is that, after Lula’s final victory, these Bolsonaro-infused practices will be modulated and the runaway destruction of the planet’s great green lung will be stopped.
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