There has been a focus following the election of President Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil on the probably tilt to the extreme right and the return of the type of Latin American regime we thought had been consigned to history with Pinochet.
Appalling human rights abuses were wrought in Latin America just a few decades ago and it seems the pendulum has once again swung that way. Its bad for citizens of countries like Brazil but although its a country ‘a long way away’ its bad for the planet also.
President Jair Bolsonaro seems set to ape the stance taken by other leaders and place national priority head of environmental considerations. In a country like Brazil with its value to the world environmental system that is bad!
We already have countries like the US and China ripping up or disregarding climate change treaties for the sake of their national economic interest and there comes a time when the world needs to speak with a clear voice and target those that disregard the norms of collective responsibility.
Organisations – large and small in whatever country – that are concerned about environmental security in the long term need to speak out against this dangerous drift.
We need to mind our domestic circumstances and the Celtic League did just that when following the recent IPCC report the Celtic League said:
“The warnings contained in the IPCC climate report are clear and need to be acted on by governments around the world, including those of the Celtic nations. The failure to do so will have dire consequences”.
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We must also match domestic accountability with a focus on the damage wrought by the large International pariahs such as the US, China and now Brazil.
As a small country we should also reappraise links with countries like China that are wrecking the environment. As Allen Moore (then Mannin branch environmental Officer) wrote in January 2016:
‘How bad are we getting in the Isle of Man that we have to do business with such wreckers of the planet as the Chinese?’
Going back to Brazil one of the first and most damaging moves by President Jair Bolsonaro is his decision to merge the Agriculture and Environmental Departments. Perhaps we should react by separating our own Agriculture and Environment Department. Granted it would be a small gesture by a small country in a big world but no less significant for that!
Images: Trump, Xi Jinping and Bolsonaro
Assistant General Secretary