We finance environmental destruction, you finance protection

At COP 26, Brazilian delegation intends to wrap climate vandalism with green jabber

A green president, accompanied by green ministers and green officers, dedicated to protecting a little green Amazon, has just decreed a vanguard plan to assume the global leadership in the mitigation of climate change: the "National Green Growth Program".

The green jabber was the bold strategy found by the Brazilian government to land in Glasgow with honor. There, over the next few days, the COP 26, an annual international meeting for the negotiation of state commitments in climate policy, will take place. The plan wants to "consolidate Brazil as the greatest green power in the world", according to the greeners.

The decrees for "green growth" do not establish goals, duties, accountability mechanisms, transparency tools and participation. Green economy, green job, green project, whatever else you want green, have entered this environmental vocabulary renewed by the touch of bolsonarist impudence. It lacks the notions of green poverty and green hunger in order to correctly mirror the country.

"Green narratives" will not seduce COP 26, nor will they hide blood and ashes. Brazil signed the Paris Agreement in 2015. Countries around the world have made voluntary commitments (NDCs) to reduce emissions that, in aggregate, try to alleviate climate tragedy. Translated into numbers, it is intended that the temperature increase does not exceed 1.5ºC in relation to the pre-industrial period (we are today in the range of 1.2ºC).

The commitments made in 2015, insufficient to achieve the global target, must be revised by each country, progressively, every five years. That time has come.

Brazil's disloyalty to the international legal regime is already flashing here: through "creative" environmental accounting, also called fraud, the country presented nominally better, yet concretely worse commitments. The trick was to change the methodology (see "Scientific and legal analysis of the new Brazilian NDC", by Instituto Clima e Sociedade, or "Clima e Desenvolvimento", by Instituto Talanoa).

The Bolsonaro government's performance in encouraging deforestation draws the world's attention. When comparing the period from August 2020 to June 2021 with the period from August 2019 to June 2020, the increase was 51%. When comparing deforestation in March 2021 with March 2020, there was an increase of 216% (see Imazon deforestation bulletins). Meteoric explosion in the space of a year.

Even the minister of agriculture has said that "we don't need to deforest to eat, we just need to increase productivity". The government, however, concentrates public money (credits, subsidies, amnesties) on actors that deforest (see studies by Instituto Escolhas). To stop deforestation, illegality must be fought. But delinquency is government's ally.

The recent Central Bank Resolution 140 establishes prohibitions for rural credit. There will be no credit, for example, for those who have property within a conservation unit, on indigenous or quilombola land, who have done illegal deforestation or practiced slave labor. The malicious trick is there: the legal and formal requirements to attest to the conditions facilitate, in practice, for credit for anyone. The resolution has a ruralist DNA.

The devastation is not by accident but design. Brazilian environmental authoritarianism is highlighted worldwide. Is translated by a set of wellknown practices: defunding control and accountability institutions, legal and moral harassment of inspectors, the production of misinformation and deletion of environmental data, leniency with crime, and deregulation of environmental protection.

As world leaders prepare for the year's summit, Jair Bolsonaro is more concerned about his domestic criminal affairs.

Targetted with more than 100 requests for impeachment, 5 criminal communication before the International Criminal Court, indicated as suspect of 10 crimes by the report of the Investigation Committe of the Brazilian Senate (in light of the conduct that allowed 600 thousand deaths in the pandemic), he has just had the message "vaccine transmits AIDS" excluded from Facebook, Twitter and Youtube platforms.

But the Brazilian delegation, orphaned by the president, intends to show the world what it has come for. During its trottoir in Glasgow, the team will put the following proposal on the table: you pay for protection, we fund and incite destruction. Take it or leave it, COP 26.