Environment Minister Ricardo Salles ended his visit to Washington on Friday after part of his appointments were canceled at the last minute. Salles, who had arrived on Wednesday, travels Saturday morning to New York.
On Thursday, the minister planned to meet the leader of the CEI (Competitive Enterprise Institute), a controversial body that questions global warming. It was canceled. His interview with Bloomberg on Friday was also canceled. One of his most prestigious meetings at the State Department also failed. In all cases the advisory spoke of a conflict of agenda and stressed the “dynamism” of the schedule.
In the case of the State Department, the ministry said the US interlocutors were summoned to an emergency meeting at the Department of Defense. The American entity did not confirm to Folha.
Salles, on the other hand, was at the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank), an event that was not foreseen in the initial agenda. It was there that the minister made the main announcement of his visit to washington —The plans to create a new fund for the amazon. However, there is no information on the amount or which countries will participate.
Salles sat in the Wilson Center — behind closed doors, like the rest of his agenda — with representatives of environmental conservation organizations. Among others, Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund and Nature Conservancy were invited.
The minister has also been to the US Chamber of Commerce, the EPA, the Wall Street Journal, and the Associated Press. He also had lunch with a Bayer representative at the Brazilian embassy.
THE salles schedule thus mixed nodding to investors and meetings with opinion makers at a time when Brazil faces harsh criticism regarding its management of the environmental crisis. Due to the increase in burning and deforestation in the Amazon, protesters protested against the arrival of Salles. Members of Greenpeace and Amazon Watch called the minister "terrorist" and "traitor" at the entrance of the chamber.
His stint in New York from Saturday must be delicate. There he joins the presidential entourage at the UN General Assembly, which starts on Tuesday. There is anxiety about Brazil's performance at that event, given the pressure exerted by countries such as France and Germany. French President Emmanuel Macron has already suggested that Brazil deserves a better leader after trading barbs with Jair Bolsonaro (PSL).
The crisis in the Amazon is one of the biggest challenges of the Bolsonaro government. According to data from Deter, from INPE (National Institute for Space Research), the Amazon deforestation increased 222% in August this year compared to the same period in 2018.
In a dramatic episode, the smoke from the fires – added to that of other countries in the region – made São Paulo dusk at day, at 3 pm. Bolsonaro, however, accused NGOs of promoting burning, without offering any evidence to that effect. His speech and the proximity of his government members to sectors interested in the exploration of the Amazon are factors that motivate criticism regarding its environmental policy.
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