U.S.-Brazil talks stir much skepticism, some hope


Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (Photo by Orlando Brito)

A proposal by the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden to provide Brazil financial aid in return for commitments to curb Amazon deforestation is drawing contradictory forecasts from leading conservationists. While some experts believe the idea has promise, others argue that given its record of hostility toward Amazon land-use restrictions, the right-wing government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is unlikely to commit itself to a meaningful aid-for-conservation bargain. “[An agreement] is only possible if Bolsonaro makes a 180-degree change in his environmentally regressive policies, especially regarding the rainforest, which I don’t think will occur,” says Marcio Astrini, executive secretary of the Climate Observatory, a nonprofit Brazilian network that monitors the country’s carbon emissions. “Nor do I believe the Biden administration, which is not naïve about Bolsonaro’s environmental policies, will bankroll such an undertaking until Brazil comes up with a concrete and verifiable plan and shows... [Log in to read more]

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