What Boris really asked of Bolsonaro in New York

What Boris really asked of Bolsonaro in New York
Jair Bolsonaro (left) and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met in New York City. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

During his weekly Facebook Live broadcast on Thursday, President Jair Bolsonaro claimed that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked him for an emergency food agreement with Brazil during a bilateral meeting held Monday in New York City, during his trip to the UN General Assembly.

Downing Street disputes Mr. Bolsonaro’s words, with one spokesperson telling the BBC that the Brazilian president’s account doesn’t correspond to the United Kingdom’s “recollection of the conversation.” The British government offered no further explanation. 

“He wants an emergency agreement with us to import some kind of food that is lacking in England,” said Mr. Bolsonaro. Indeed, the British government is scrambling to avoid meat and poultry shortages for the end-of-year holiday period, raising suspicion that the proposed “deal” could have been in relation to Christmas turkeys. The UK also faces cuts in carbon dioxide supply used in cattle slaughter and dry ice production.

While the details of the alleged “emergency food agreement” remain unclear, it is on record that the British Prime Minister did make demands to his Brazilian counterpart. As we revealed in the September 21 edition of our Brazil Daily newsletter, Mr. Johnson “encouraged President Bolsonaro to increase his 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution” as part of the Paris Agreement. He emphasized that Brazil should play a significant role in climate policy as it is “a major South American economy and home to the Amazon rainforest.”