Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The new Brazilian Bolsonaro Government has notified the United Nations they no longer want to host next year’s United Nations global summit meeting on climate change.
Brazil cancels hosting climate change summit
Rio de Janeiro: Brazil has pulled out of hosting next year’s United Nations global summit meeting on climate change, the latest signal that Latin America’s largest nation no longer aspires to be an influential player in efforts to mitigate the effects of a warming planet.
The decision leaves the United Nations scrambling to find a new venue for the conference, which was scheduled to take place next November. It comes about a month before the inauguration of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who has vowed to empower commercial ventures in the Amazon and other Brazilian biomes while weakening enforcement of environmental laws.
Bolsonaro’s incoming foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, a career diplomat, has called the movement to reduce global warming a plot by “Marxists” to stifle the economic growth of capitalist democracies while lifting China.
In a statement, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said the decision was made to save money. It also cited the “transition process” as Bolsonaro prepares to take office.
“The image of Brazil is at risk,” said Carlos Rittl, executive secretary of the Brazilian Climate Observatory, an environmental group. “Climate and the environment are the only issues where Brazil is a leader in global terms. We are not leaders in world trade, we are not leaders in a geopolitical sense on security issues. But on climate and environment we are leaders, and we are giving that up.”
In my opinion Brazil’s very public snub of the United Nations climate cabal sends a strong message that the Bolsonaro government’s priority is attracting investment and maximising economic growth.
Becoming a world leading economic power provides hope and opportunities to the poor. Being an “environment leader” not so much.