Candidates Add Environment to Their Economic Plan in Brazil

Bringing illegal deforestation down to zero is unanimous among Bolsonaro's opponents; campaigns diverge on incentives for sustainable economy

São Paulo

The environmental proposals have jumped to the front pages of the government plans of the best-placed presidential candidates in the polls in these elections.

With an economic focus, the programs by Lula (PT), Jair Bolsonaro (PL), Ciro Gomes (PDT), and Simone Tebet (MDB) mention topics such as deforestation control, energy transition to renewable sources, and bio-economy, among other solutions.

The actions are part of different strategies for economic growth and also for positioning the country in global geopolitics, in messages that seek to respond to the context of the diplomatic crisis guided by the explosion of deforestation in the Bolsonaro years.

The re-election candidate is also trying to correct the course of the environmental discourse, although he is the only one of the four not to establish the end to illegal deforestation as one of the goals of his mandate.

To summarize the proposals of the four candidacies, Folha consulted the government programs delivered to the TSE (Supreme Electoral Court) and interviewed representatives of the slates regarding these documents — except Bolsonaro’s, who did not respond to the newspaper's request.

"Expand Brazil's role as a provider of climate solutions and establish itself as a world leader in a global green supply chain", predicts Bolsonaro's program. The text speaks of "freedom for responsible use of natural resources that each individual or community has legally available", mentioning indigenous people, quilombolas, and ribeirinhos.

Lula's government plan promises to support the "emergence of an inclusive green economy, based on the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of the biodiversity of all Brazilian biomes".

"Brazil's growth necessarily involves a clear environmental agenda, capable of proving that a standing forest is worth much more than a deforested field", says Ciro Gomes' plan.

Translated by Cassy Dias

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