President Jair Bolsonaro’s (non-party) speech at the Climate Leaders Summit convened by US President Joe Biden (22) on Thursday sparked the expected polarized reactions – his supporters praised the speech and government critics used adjectives as “shameful” and “incoherent” – but there were also those who celebrated the government’s change in tone.
Bolsonaro has pledged to double the resources for environmental inspection, sought to highlight Brazil at “the forefront of the fight against global warming” and called for international contributions, in accordance with what defends Minister Ricardo Salles (Environment).
For former Environment Minister Marina Silva, however, Brazil “always aims in the rear view” while other countries have bold goals. “It was shameful for the president to spend almost half of his speech asking the world for money for past environmental achievements, which his government has been trying to destroy for two years,” he wrote of his social networks.
The Climate Observatory said Brazil had left the summit “discredited”. “Bolsonaro spent half of his speech asking the world for money for past environmental achievements, which his government has been trying to destroy since the day of his inauguration,” Marcio Astrini, the NGO’s executive secretary, said in a note.
In a similar vein, TV presenter Luciano Huck criticized the speech for being out of touch with reality. “It seemed to me that we live in another dimension. Alice must be wondering about the new ventures in her wonderland, ”she said on her Twitter.
For the former Minister of Health Henrique Mandetta, sacked by Bolsonaro a year ago, the declaration “would be great for an early term”. “Unfortunately, today he is received with total skepticism. Shame in Brazil. How can we believe in those who spoke and did the exact opposite until yesterday?” He asked.
The Brazilian president had to wait more than an hour and a half to make his statement. Before him, on a list drawn up by the Americans, nearly twenty leaders spoke, including the leaders of China, India, Russia, France and Argentina.
The governor of Maranhão, Flávio Dino (PCdoB), commented on the Brazilian’s expectation and described Bolsonaro’s speech as “excessively generic” and “incompatible with reality”. “The Brazilian president was at the end of the leadership line to speak. And the president of the United States was not there to listen. In other words, Brazil’s strange diplomacy as a ‘global pariah’ has success.”
MP Henrique Fontana (PT-RS) also commented on the departure of Biden – who asked to be absent during the speeches. “The Brazilian president’s lack of credibility is wide open to the world,” he said.
In contrast, MP Aécio Neves, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, believes that the president’s participation showed an “intention to change” with respect to environmental issues. But he stressed that “this new position must be accompanied by concrete actions”.
“I believe the Brazilian government has understood the importance of the environmental agenda to attract investment and open the market for our products,” he said in a note.
For Senator Katia Abreu (PP-TO), president of the House’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the Brazilian participation was positive, “in the balanced line of the current command of Itamaraty, without untimely requests for financial compensation, which could be seen as a “give and take.” We are a family business.
The president of COP26 (United Nations Conference on Climate Change 2021), Alok Sharma, declared in his social networks that he welcomes “Brazil’s commitment to climate neutrality by 2050” and that he looks forward to working with the country. In his summit speech earlier this Thursday, Sharma said he hoped countries would take more effective action against global warming.
Among the supporters of the president, MP Carla Zambelli (PSL-SP) called the speech excellent. “[Bolsonaro] reaffirms Brazil’s leading role in the conservation of its biome and its commitment to eliminate illegal deforestation by 2030, ”he wrote, referring to one of the commitments presented.
Still in support of Bolsonaro, Minister Onyx Lorenzoni (General Secretariat of the Presidency) shared on his social networks a photo of the president at the top with part of his speech written in the image, but without comment.