Statement on Bolsonaro's Speech at the Leaders Summit on Climate

Amazon Watch

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The Leaders Summit on Climate convened by President Biden on Earth Day 2021 marks a historic turning point as global leaders make important new announcements to tackle the climate emergency.

Today, Brazil's President Bolsonaro presented a commitment to reduce deforestation and to end illegal deforestation by 2030, adding that it would reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 50% by that date. Bolsonaro pledged to double funding for environmental enforcement efforts and called for international support for Brazil's climate efforts. However, Bolsonaro had previously eliminated deforestation from the country's environmental goals, and his new pledge for Brazil to reach carbon neutrality in 2050 is met by skepticism by Brazilian civil society and Indigenous leaders.

Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director of Amazon Watch made the following statement about Bolsonaro's speech:

"Bolsonaro once again lied to the international community. He said he strengthened regulatory bodies to protect the environment, when in fact, he weakened them. Bolsonaro boasted about increasing the budget of these regulatory bodies when in fact, Ibama (Brazil's environmental agency) and FUNAI (the country's national Indigenous agency) were strangled financially by the Bolsonaro administration and prevented from taking action to stop deforestation and other threats to the Amazon rainforest.

In fact, since Bolsonaro took office in January 2019, environmental regulations have been systematically rolled back and the rates of deforestation have tripled. Indigenous lands, which are the best protected across the Amazon, have been invaded, logged, and burned with impunity. The rights of Indigenous peoples, who are the guardians of the forest, have been violated by Bolsonaro and his administration. Bolsonaro cannot be trusted. Any agreement with Brazil should be led by civil society and Indigenous and traditional peoples, not Bolsonaro.”

Sonia Guajajara,Executive Coordinator of APIB (the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil), said,

"So far there has not even been a dialogue between this government and Indigenous peoples to confront the invasions of our lands, so our request for a direct channel with the U.S. government for issues related to the Brazilian Amazon is legitimate. It is essential that any dialogue with the Brazilian government is conditional on guaranteeing the preservation of life and biodiversity of the planet and restoring Indigenous policies."

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