The US government considers Joe Biden’s climate leaders’ summit for next week as Brazil’s last chance to show its environmental concern to restore American confidence and expand relations with the White House.
The blunt message was given by US Ambassador to Brazil Todd Chapman in a virtual private meeting on Sunday (11) with Brazilian politicians, economists, diplomats and businessmen.
Participants at the meeting, promoted by the parliamentary group, told Folha that Chapman was firm in saying that the environment will guide relations between Brazil and the United States, and that trade agreements between the two countries and the Brazil’s entry into the OECD, for example, depend on the latitude of the plan that the Jair Bolsonaro government will present to the summit organized by Biden, between April 22 and 23.
“Relations between our countries will depend a lot on this environmental posture in Brazil,” Chapman said. The diplomat said that there is a perception that illegal deforestation in the Amazon has increased a lot and that it “is not a communication problem”, as Bolsonaro’s aides justify, but a reality that must be reversed, including with the participation of the private sector. sector.
According to data released by Inpe (National Institute for Space Research), deforestation in the Amazon broke new records in March and was the highest in the past six years. Forest destruction last month increased 12.6% compared to the same period in 2020, the year in which deforestation hit its highest level in 12 years, even amid the Covid pandemic -19.
The US ambassador called the climate summit an “opportunity” for Brazil to turn the tide and save environmental concerns in the eyes of the world, and said the country “would become a hero” if it made a “direct statement” resumes its leading role in the environmental debate.
The message was seen by meeting attendees as the strongest way to prioritize Biden’s agenda and give Bolsonaro an ultimatum in the face of influential names in the public and private sectors, who can cap the pressure. on the Plateau when it comes to climate change.
The United States wants Brazil to commit during the summit to meeting objective targets of reducing illegal deforestation, zeroing the practice until 2030, and reporting results later this year.
Minister Ricardo Salles (Environment), for his part, insists on the idea that Brazil will only commit to the figures if it receives advances from foreign countries, but the Americans condition the funding on concrete results.
In recent days, technical teams from the Brazilian and US governments have been immersed in a series of meetings seeking an agreement. Chapman also spoke this week with Salles and members of Apib (Articulation of Indigenous Peoples), who have called for a direct channel to be opened with the Biden government to discuss the preservation of the Amazon. The organization questions the U.S. commitment to a leadership like Bolsonaro’s, which sponsors negligent environmental policies.
Among the guests at the meeting with Chapman on Sunday were former Justice Minister Sergio Moro and former US Ambassador to Brazil Rubens Barbosa, who wanted to know why Brazil was excluded from the first trip to the ‘sent. Biden in South America.
Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council, Juan Gonzalez this week visited Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay in the wake of the green agenda and the pandemic. Chapman responded that Gonzalez would go through countries where the talks were more advanced, which was understood by those present as a sign that negotiations with Brazil are not progressing at the desired pace.
Moro, in turn, asked if there was anything the private sector could do if the Brazilian government did not cooperate with the environment, and he heard from Chapman that many American companies are demanding a more aggressive response on the environment, because they do not want to. to pay on behalf of those involved in illegalities and deforestation. According to the diplomat, there is no better brand than “saving the Amazon”, and a global agreement on the carbon market is needed.
Another topic on which Chapman stressed the need for private sector involvement was 5G. The United States is trying to ban or at least limit the participation of the Chinese company Huawei in the frequency auction in Brazil.
The ambassador said the decision on the technology comes from Brazil, but it is necessary to decide whether the country wants “cutting edge technology or technology without commitment for data protection”.
“The private sector must speak out,” Chapman insisted.
The Americans’ argument is that Huawei transmits sensitive information to the Chinese government, which threatens Brazil’s data security and cooperation with the United States.