Opinion

Climate negotiations with Bolsonaro a lost cause

Brazil is heading into an election year in which environmental issues are unlikely to figure prominently

climate negotiations eu
Environment Minister Joaquim Leite, EU Commissioner Josep Borrell, and President Bolsonaro in front of a map of Brazil’s protected areas during a meeting at the presidential palace. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

In the early 1970s, the Brazilian military dictatorship harnessed cutting-edge technology to map the Amazon rainforest more precisely than ever before. “Financed by a USD 30 million grant from the Brazilian government,” the New York Times reported in July 1976, “the venture, known as the Radam Project, has discovered a 400‐mile‐long river in the western Amazon that had been hidden by dense foliage and almost continuous cloud cover.” Evoking the spirit of adventure associated with colonial-era explorers, the regime embarked upon a broad effort to develop a jungle terrain two‐thirds the size of the continental U.S.

But this was...

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