In Brazil on Sunday there will be the ballot that will decide the fate of the Amazon

In the first round of the presidential elections, last October 2, Lula closed at 48%: North and North-East would be on his side. Bolsonaro held out against all polls by keeping south and south-east and stopping at 43%

Bolsonarism versus Lulism: the Brazil divided in two comes to ballot tomorrow, Sunday 30 October, with very confused ideas. The fate of the Amazon is shaking, an economy already in difficulty, in the hands of busted polls and the risk of fraud.

It will in fact be a clash between two contrasting visions of the growth of a gigantic country, which brings with it the fate of the Amazon rainforest and, therefore, of the entire planet.

Today Brazil is the sixth country in the world for carbon dioxide emissions just while – according to the WWF – only in the first six months of 2022, deforestation has destroyed almost 4,000 km² of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. In all, more than 40,000 km² of forest have been cleared since Bolsonaro came to power – an area larger than Belgium.

The future of the Amazon

It is a fact that, during Bolsonaro’s four years in office, deforestation has increased by 74.65% and in just three years since his election the country has lost 34,018 square kilometers of forest, an area the size of Belgium. .

When Lula and his successor Dilma Rousseff ruled between 2004 and 2016, however, deforestation fell by 72%. Lula also operated on a pro-conservation platform, vowing to reverse Bolsonaro’s deregulation, reconfirm scientists to environmental agencies, remove illegal mining from indigenous territories, create a carbon pricing scheme, and form new agencies dedicated to protecting environmental agencies. rights of indigenous people and the achievement of the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate.

Assuming Lula keeps these promises and both men rule in line with their past policies, a defeat for Bolsonaro and a victory for Lula could reduce deforestation in the Amazon by 89% over the next 10 years, according to a new analysis conducted for Carbon Brief by scientists from the University of Oxford, the International Institute for Applied System Analysis and the National Institute for Space Research.

The research is based on whether or not the Brazilian leader applies the Forestry Code, a law passed in 1965 that remains the country’s main tool for enforcing the protection of rainforests and which establishes, among other things, that farmers have the obligation to preserve a certain amount of forest on their land and reforest illegally cleared areas.

Whether it is implemented or not has an impact not only on the Amazon, but on the global climate. If not enforced, Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions from land use change would continue to contribute to the climate crisis until 2050. It goes without saying that even if Lula wins, it will not mean that it will be easy for him to fight the deforestation. He will find himself rather forced to propose an alternative, starting among other things his mandate with a extremely low environmental budget.

Who will win then? According to the most recent survey by the Datafolha Institute, Lula is in the lead in the voting intentions of the Brazilians, stable at 49% against Jair Bolsonaro’s 45%.

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In Brazil on Sunday there will be the ballot that will decide the fate of the Amazon