The Biden administration has inspired respect around the world for its decisive action against the coronavirus pandemic and for its courage to launch an economic recovery program strongly tied to the challenge of global warming. Brazilian society views with relief the performance of a government committed to the values of liberal democracy and racial justice. After all, we have been collateral victims of the extremist fury in the United States. Without the legitimizing force of the Trump administration, we would hardly have witnessed the emergence of Bolonarianism.
This is why we have received with concern the news that you are planning to open negotiations with the Brazilian government at the summit on April 22, with a view, according to reports, to set targets for deforestation in the Amazon by 2030.
Last week, the Federal Supreme Court forced the Senate to set up a parliamentary Covid commission of inquiry. An unexpected opportunity for the political class to prove the responsibility of the government and to demand the punishment of those responsible for the tragedy we are going through. The discussion will be followed closely by the international community, increasingly attentive to Brazil’s role in the fight against the pandemic.
By accepting the Brazilian government’s terms, you, as special climate envoy, would grant Bolsonaro an unexpected and free victory at a decisive moment. He would take advantage of the oxygen balloon to make irreversible his radical transformation project in the Amazon, marked by the emptying of environmental agencies and the promotion of new predatory infrastructure projects.
Until now, Bolsonaro has never bothered to achieve the economic objectives assumed at international level. To believe that it can be different with the environment is to feed a dangerous illusion.
We are a family business.
The United States can take concrete steps to preserve the Amazon without running the risk of helping Bolsonarism. It suffices for American agencies to expand sovereign cooperation with public actors who have proven themselves in the defense of the environment, such as the Consortium of Governors of the Legal Amazon. Washington can design a package of donated vaccines to the SUS and measures against deforestation approved by these authorities.
An environmental deal with the federal government that attacked the Amazon the most in the democratic era would be the equivalent of Ulysses S. Grant, after consolidating abolition in the United States, to open negotiations with the office of Rio Branco to manage Brazilian slavery in 1871.
An affront to Jimmy Carter, who fought so hard to promote the democratic transition in Brazil. An affront to Al Gore, who could hardly believe it when he heard Bolsonaro talk about exploring the Amazon. This deal, Secretary John Kerry, would be an affront to the democratic history of the United States that the Biden administration is working to save.
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