Energy

The ‘Brazilian Trump’ Leading The Presidential Race Wants To Leave The Paris Climate Accord

REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

Brazil’s leading presidential candidate, the right-wing Jair Bolsonaro, wants to follow in the footsteps of President Donald Trump and take his country out of the Paris climate agreement.

Bolsonaro mentioned taking Brazil out of the Paris accord when he announced his presidential bid in late July. Bolsonaro retweeted a picture of his son, Edward, with former White House official Steve Bannon, an opponent of the Paris accord.

Eduardo Bolsonaro tweeted he and Bannon concluded “that we have the same worldview” and would “join forces, especially against cultural Marxism.”

Bolsonaro is polling second in the polls behind jailed President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, a socialist. However, da Silva is likely to be disqualified by the courts from standing for re-election in October. (RELATED: US Refineries Are Processing Record Levels Of Crude Oil To Keep Up With Demand)

Trump ran on a platform that included withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris accord. Trump announced last year he would with withdraw the U.S. from the Paris accord that the Obama administration signed in 2016 without Senate approval. The earliest the U.S. can withdraw is fall 2020.

The day after Trump’s announcement, Bolsonaro tweeted out an article defending the decision entitled “the greenhouse fable.”

Brazil joined the Paris agreement in 2016, pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions between 37 percent and 43 percent below 2005 levels. Most of that would come from anti-deforestation efforts already underway.

Unlike the U.S., Brazil ratified the Paris accord through its legislature, meaning repeal could be difficult. But Bolsonaro’s growing popularity could give him the political capital he needs to withdraw Brazil from the Paris accord.

United Nations officials and environmentalists worry Brazil’s exit from Paris could further unravel the international agreement.

“A rejection of the Paris Agreement is a rejection of science and fact,” Erik Solheim, who heads the U.N. environment program, told Climate Home. “It’s also a false promise, because politicians who present climate action as a cost to society have got it all wrong.”

Bolsonaro, a former military officer, has been called “Brazilian Trump” for his right-wing, anti-socialist positions. Critics say Bolsonaro has made sexist and homophobic comments, but that doesn’t seem to have affected his popularity.

The candidate’s platform also includes cracking down on crime, putting more military officers in government office. Bolsonaro is also anti-abortion and favors scaling back some of the country’s gun control laws.

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