What’s Going On Here?

October sees the end of Jair Bolsonaro’s term as president of Brazil. In a dramatic comeback, the ex-president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva is set to become leader of the country (again).

What Does This Mean?

The incoming president secured a majority of 50.9% of the vote from his far-right rival, the incumbent Bolsonaro. The close result illustrates the level of partisanship that has taken effect in the country. Lula, largely considered to be a leftist in the political landscape, will come into power for a second time having served as the 35th president of Brazil between 2003 and 2010. 

Despite the close result of Brazil’s 2022 election, the outcome can be seen as a victory for left-wing politics with the majority of voters backing a significant change in political direction. This could have considerable implications for the environment as well as indigenous peoples’ rights and illustrates that voting in the political system is still one of the most powerful tools to influence the fate of the climate emergency.

Why Should We Care?

Jair Bolsonaro is widely regarded as a populist leader, backing a number of regressive policies on a range of social and environmental issues. As president, he oversaw the handling of Brazil’s response to the pandemic which saw 700,000 Brazilians die of Covid-19

A strong opponent of climate action, Bolsonaro repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. His policies and actions greatly reduced the barriers to deforestation of the Amazon rainforest leading to huge increases in the rate of habitat destruction. His removal from office may prove to be extremely important for the future of the Amazon as well as the climate emergency. In contrast, Lula has used his first speech as president elect to demonstrate his strong support for climate action:

“Brazil is ready to resume its leading role in the fight against the climate crisis, protecting all our biomes, especially the Amazon Forest”

Be Curious!

  • Find out how you can help save the Amazon Rainforest here
  • Learn about the rise of modern populism here
  • As ever, you can leverage the power of politics to have influence. In the UK for example you can find your local MP and make your point.

Main Photo: Karen Toro / Climate Visuals Countdown

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