Brazil election: Lula victory raises hope for Amazon rainforest

(Climate Home News, 31 Oct 2022) The Brazilian people elected Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva to be their next president on Sunday, rejecting the far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.

The vote has raised environmentalists’ hopes that the Amazon rainforest will be protected from ranchers, illegal loggers and gold miners.

While Bolsonaro gutted environmental protection agencies and oversaw a rise in deforestation, Lula’s previous tenure as president saw a steady decline in forest clearance.

Deforestation speeds up climate change as the trees and soil, particularly in untouched rainforest, suck in carbon dioxide.

“For climate, [Lula’s election] is a huge hope,” Lula’s environmental advisor and former environment minister Izabella Teixeira told Climate Home News. She said that climate action and “a new relationship between humankind and nature” are critical to Brazil’s economic development.

“We know that we need to work hard but [we] now have a president that believes and is committed not only to tackle deforestation but to move forward to make sure that [we] can promote inclusive development,” she added.

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Climate Home News, 31 Oct 2022: Brazil election: Lula victory raises hope for Amazon rainforest