Brazilian gov’t ramps up war on environment

After deposing moderate leftist President Dilma Rousseff, Brazilian legislators installed a neoliberal interim regime, a government already racked by scandals and forced resignations.

With their legal future in doubt, the government is preparing for a free-for-all, with the nation’s magnificent natural resources up for grabs.

The justification? It’s good for business.

From teleSUR English:

The Brazilian government is attempting to scrap two important environmental regulations which environmental and Indigenous activists say will have a disastrous effect on efforts to fight climate change and put Indigenous communities in danger.

The first proposal, backed by a number of figures in Michel Temer’s coup-imposed government, sees that environmental licenses on Indigenous reserves that are now issued by the federal government will be handed over to states and even private companies.

Heavy polluting industries such as farming and forestry would then be exempt from current licensing laws. States would be authorized to choose the terms of the licensing agreements for companies operating under their jurisdiction.

More than 250 representatives including NGOs and individuals signed an open letter opposing the change, arguing that there has been a lack of consultation and the proposal would only increase environmental destruction.

Mauricio Guetta, a lawyer for Socio-Environmental Institute, told The Guardian that the changes are “the most worrying regressions of our recent history,” and would make it near impossible for Brazil to make its climate change target from Paris COP21, which includes ending illegal deforestation by 2030 and significantly cutting greenhouse emissions.

The proposal, which has already been stalled for years has been causing political division. Mauro Pereira, a congressman from Temer’s party pushing for the change, says that the laws need to be overhauled to promote business.


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