By Alfonso Paz
Brazil’s presidency and climate pact gather outside the COP headquarters in Poland
As the COP26 climate deal conference winds down, supporters of the deal speak of green and developing countries. Yet, Brazil’s track record on climate change matters a great deal.
Brazil, one of the largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, is often considered to be front and centre when it comes to climate deals.
Its climate plan – a part of the Paris Agreement – has plenty of initiatives to encourage renewable energy sources, or develop what are known as green technologies.
But as the 2015 agreement on global warming showed, Brazil has not always been right on how it handles global issues.
To be specific, the country’s leadership in the COP26 has been absent.
Story-telling: A Plain Talk
The marathon talks – five decades in the making – had barely begun when a war of words erupted.
Francisco Avuru, environment minister in left-wing President Dilma Rousseff’s cabinet, was dismissed after posting on social media a video saying the country that did not enforce the global agreement on climate change “could be kicked out”.
The UN’s main climate body, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), bashed Brazil for failing to ratify its climate plan.
Business leaders have also condemned Brazil for failing to acknowledge the fight against climate change, or commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The crisis of Brazil’s climate plan shows the resolve of the country to combat global warming is weakening, something that will undoubtedly affect the country’s bottom line.
Brazil has repeatedly stressed the environment to be a crucial area in its foreign policy.
In 1989, then-President Fernando Henrique Cardoso created the Environment Ministry, which, under the presidency of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), deepened Brazil’s role as a development country with a responsibility to leave its mark on the world.