Brazil to allow “conversion” of environmental fines


Brazilian authorities are implementing a system under which companies can avoid paying environmental fines by converting them, at a hefty discount, into ecosystem-restoration investments. An ordinance issued on Feb. 15 implements an October 2017 presidential decree whose ostensible goal is to incentivize environmental restoration. Another objective of the decree is to address the deluge of slow-moving appeals that companies file in the country’s backlogged courts to contest their fines. Ibama, the enforcement arm of Brazil’s Environment Ministry and the agency that devised the new regimen, estimates that some R$4.6 billion (US$1.44 billion) of the fines that it has levied but have so far gone uncollected could be directed to restoration under the new measure. “After companies, especially those with big fines... [Log in to read more]

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