Brazil’s controversial environmental licensing bill ready for House vote

The proposed framework loosens control over a number of economic ventures, leaving some projects completely exempt from environmental licensing

environment licensing brazil
Deforested area in Apui, Amazonas. Photo: Lalo de Almeida/Folhapress

This afternoon, Brazilian lawmakers are set to vote on a bill creating a new legal framework for environmental licensing. Used to authorize works and operations ranging from the construction of roads to agriculture, these permits are either issued by state-level bodies or Brazil’s environmental agency Ibama, depending on the project’s size.

The proposal to alter these rules has been brewing for over 17 years but will finally go to a vote this week after being fast-tracked by House Speaker Arthur Lira. Beyond simply speeding up the process, Mr. Lira skipped many of the deliberative steps such a consequential bill...

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