Instead of looking to the center, Lula and PT must embrace the green revolution – 03/14/2021 – Mathias Alencastro

Last week, Lula ushered in a new era in the struggle against Bolonarianism. But a central theme of Brazilian politics has been neglected: the environment.

A curious fact, given that no flag is so associated with the revival of the center-left as the struggle for a lasting reconstruction of the economy.

Named by name in the ex-president’s speech, Bernie Sanders leads the new generation charged with imposing the climate agenda within the Democratic Party. In the Biden administration, this is the common denominator between the progressive and the centrist wing.

Another leader mentioned by the PT, the mayor of Paris and presidential candidate Anne Hidalgo was re-elected thanks to a strategy of “hostile acquisition” of the green electorate.

This Sunday, the German Greens consolidated their power by winning two regional elections and are expected to play a central role on the national board of directors in the post-Merkel era. Whoever takes over the presidency of Brazil in 2023 will have to face the “green block” of the North Atlantic.

Soon, national players will feel the consequences of these developments. Scheduled for November, COP26 will seal the alliance of the West and the Asian powers around a new climate agenda. This will bury the illusion of Amazon predators who believe it is possible to ignore the new global paradigm and maintain Brazil’s competitiveness in international trade.

Resistance is likely to drop even in the most conservative sectors. The importance of the Midwest is growing exponentially, but its electoral base is insufficient to play a decisive role in building national alliances. Increasingly affected economically by Ernesto Araújo’s diplomatic follies, industry leaders will enthusiastically welcome a project for sustainable multilateralism.

From activists who used green stars in the early campaigns of the 1980s, to Brazil’s participation in the Paris Agreement negotiations, to Jaques Wagner’s role in the Senate, the PT has a long history of environmental activism. . Going green, however, implies profound changes in its vision of national development. The Belo Monte Dam, this monstrosity designed by the generals of the dictatorship and inaugurated by President Dilma Rousseff, is a type of party incompatible with the vision of the modern center-left.

At Petrobras, the archaisms of the 1950s must be replaced by a daring energy transition strategy, which involves the company’s transition to the post-oil economy. In Brazil and elsewhere, the climate crisis offers a unique opportunity for the programmatic update of the center-left.

Lula can make a difference in democratizing the fight against global warming. The last decade has clearly shown that the green revolution will not come about with pompous speeches full of English expressions and acronyms like the Green New Deal and the ESG, but through the mobilization of popular categories. A master in the art of bringing complex themes to society, he can make the cause the force that legitimizes his return to the international scene.

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