BRASÍLIA, 11-27-2018 – The U-turn of the Brazilian government on its offer to host COP25 is regrettable, but not surprising. Given that a few weeks ago the Temer administration celebrated the bid to host the conference as a sign of “the country’s global leadership on sustainable development issues”, the reason for the turnaround probably lies with the incoming administration, which has declared war on sustainable development in many occasions. This is not the first and certainly won’t be the last piece of bad news from Jair Bolsonaro to this field.
Thus, Brazil steps down from its own role in the world in one of the few areas where the country is not only relevant, but also necessary: the fight against global climate change. Ironically, this happens because of ideology, something that the president-elect and his Foreign Minister have vowed to “extirpate” from public administration. As international climate leadership vanishes, so do business opportunities, investments and jobs. By ignoring the climate agenda, the federal government also fails to protect the population, exposed to a growing number of climate extremes. Those, unfortunately, will keep on happening even is some people doubt their cause.