People Destroy the Environment because They Need to Eat, Says Guedes at Davos

Minister's speech took place during a World Economic Forum panel on the future of industry and work


Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said on Tuesday (21) that people are obliged to degrade the environment when they are in poverty. The minister's speech took place during a panel of the World Economic Forum that discussed the future of industry and work.

"Nature's worst enemy is poverty. People destroy the environment because they need to eat," he said.

The minister also said that food production still depends on pesticides. "We all want a greener space, and we want more food. And depending on which chemicals you use to have more food, you don't have a clean space. And that is a very complex political solution," he said.

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 21 January. Paulo Guedes, Minister of Economy of Brazil, speaking in the Strategic Outlook: Latin America at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 21 January. Credit World Economic Forum / Walter Duerst

"You don't have a clean environment because the solutions are not simple. They are complex," added the minister.

Guedes also stated that, in Brazil, the voting power is very great. "People want industries and jobs, but at the same time, there is pressure to make it green. It is a delicate balance, but we are sure that we will achieve it."

As the panel focused on manufacturing, there was no space to deepen the topic.

Guedes did not talk about the work of Brazilian agribusiness to increase productivity and not occupy forest areas, a major concern of environmentalists in relation to Brazil.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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