US expects Bolsonaro to say it will no longer tolerate illegal deforestation

The US government has already outlined the roadmap it expects from Jair Bolsonaro’s speech at the Climate Leaders Summit, scheduled by Joe Biden from April 22 to 23. Americans want Bolsonaro to say he will no longer tolerate illegal deforestation in Brazil and come up with a concrete plan to reduce the number of forest destruction in the short term, which could include increased funds for enforcement agencies of the environment.

As Folha has shown, the Brazilian president is weighing the announcement of more resources for agencies like Ibama and ICMBio during the Biden summit, but is meeting resistance from the Ministry of Economy, which does not want to increase the funds. spending amid the pandemic and fiscal crisis.

U.S. interlocutors say they want to see more than Bolsonaro’s pledge to end illegal deforestation by 2030 at the meeting, as the Brazilian wrote in a letter to Biden last week. They insist that it is necessary to show immediate actions for the promises to produce what they call tangible results and confirm that more resources for the environment would be part of it.

With the progress of conversations between the authorities of the Brazilian and US governments, the US says it will not set a specific number that Brazil must reach this year in the fight against deforestation, but demands political signals and a message. clear on the subject in Bolsonaro’s speech at the summit – the Brazilian president is expected to speak Thursday for three minutes (22).

Americans say they are aware that there will not be a sharp drop in deforestation in Brazil in the coming months, but the condition is that the numbers do not increase – the destruction rates of the Amazon reached new records in March.

The problem is that the Brazilian government has a narrow window to succeed in reversing the trend of increasing forest devastation in 2021 and the most recent program announced by Planalto has been deemed weak by environmentalists.

Presented by Vice-President Hamilton Mourão, the Amazon plan is committed to reducing by the end of 2022 fires and illegal deforestation to the levels of the historical average between 2016 and 2020 of Prodes (Project for Monitoring Deforestation in the Legal Amazon by Satellite), Inpe System (National Institute for Space Research).

Although this is an objective reduction, experts point out, as there has been a lot of increase in recent years, in practice, the index will represent more deforestation than those at the start of the administration. Bolsonaro, in 2019, for example.

A possible failure by Brazil to reach at least a downward deforestation curve by the end of the year will be interpreted by Washington as Brazil’s lack of commitment on the issue, according to interlocutors, which could harm the countries. relations with the White House.

Biden’s initial order is dialogue to build possible deals going forward, but sanctions against Brazil are not ruled out if the targets are not met.

Due to discouraging projections and the lack of structure of agencies such as Ibama and ICMBio, Planalto again discussed the extension of the GLO (Guarantee of Law and Order) to combat illegal environmental activities in the Amazon, in a new attempt to strengthen deforestation control actions.

Zeroing illegal deforestation by 2030 was the commitment Brazil made in 2015 under the Paris Agreement, but it was the first time that Bolsonaro had embraced the goal, at a high diplomatic level, in a direct letter to Biden.

On Friday (16), Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry made concrete in a public message what members of the US government were saying behind the scenes of the text: Bolsonaro’s pledge to end illegal deforestation by here 2030 is a positive and important signal, but “Immediate action and engagement with indigenous peoples and civil society is needed for this announcement to produce tangible results,” Kerry wrote on her Twitter account.

From now on, the American interlocutors are trying to crystallize what these concrete actions would be indicated by Bolsonaro in his speech.

At this week’s summit, the US president wants to reintegrate the United States at the head of a new global organization, dictated by the climate, with the ambition to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. For this, Biden will announce new targets for the country to decrease until greenhouse gas emissions are zero and wants to count on more commitment from Bolsonaro.

Another action of the US government is to continue asking Brazil to create bolder NDCs (determined national contributions). NDCs are targets for reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere assumed under the Paris Agreement.

The Brazilian objective is to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 37% by 2025 and by 43% by 2030. The figures take 2005 into account.

The Bolsonaro government has resisted revising its targets because it already sees them as ambitious.

Without committing to a new CDN in Brazil in time for the Climate Summit, the Americans intend to continue the pressure until the COP-26 (United Nations Conference on Climate Change), which will be held in November in the Kingdom. -United.

The Climate Summit hosted by Biden this week is seen as a pivotal moment in the relationship between Brazil and the United States. Brazilian diplomats fear that results deemed frustrating by the Americans will hamper important points of the bilateral partnership or even American support for Brazil’s strategic demands, such as membership of the OECD.

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