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Joe Biden’s billions won’t stop Brazil destroying the Amazon rainforest | Marina Silva and Rubens Ricupero

Funds offered to persuade Jair Bolsonaro’s ruinous government to stop deforestation are meant well, but badly misjudged

  • Marina Silva and Rubens Ricupero are former Brazilian environment ministers

As a candidate, Joe Biden built up the world’s hopes when he committed the US to rejoining the Paris agreement, confronting the climate denialism of his opponent and signalling that he was ready to treat the climate crisis as a strategic priority. So far, that hope has become certainty – and relief for those of us who are striving to find structural and global solutions to the crisis.

For the Brazilian government, presided over by the climate change sceptic Jair Bolsonaro, the promise to rejoin the Paris accords sounded like a threat, even more so because it was followed by a promise made during one of the debates to mobilise $20bn (£14bn) in international funds for tropical rainforests – including for Brazil – to stop the destruction of the Amazon. Bolsonaro reacted by calling the plans “coward threats”.

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