Brazil's Bolsonaro to snub UN climate talks

Brazil's Bolsonaro to snub UN climate talks

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, forever the black sheep of international affairs, will skip climate talks at the G20 summit in Glasgow next week, according to RTE.

Showing where his priorities lie, the controversial leader will instead travel to an Italian town awarding him honorary citizenship.

The president’s schedule indicates that Mr Bolsonaro will attend the G20 summit in Rome this weekend before heading to Anguillara Veneta in northeast Italy on Monday to receive his accolade.

The outspoken populist president can be a slippery customer when it comes to international cooperation.

Speaking at a an international summit back in April of this year, Bolsonaro pledged to double Brazil’s environmental enforcement budget and put a stop to illegal deforestation by 2030.

But less than 24 hours later, Bolsonaro gave the green light to the 2021 budget than slashed environmental ministry funds by $600 million.

Glasgow will be full of world leaders on Monday for the UN COP26 climate talks, many of which will be irked by the Brazilian leaders absence.

It means a country which has roughly 12% of the world’s forest space within its borders will have zero input into the latest conference setting the global climate agenda.

In the wake of extensive deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest, and the effect this has on global greenhouse gas emissions, Bolsonaro’s reluctance to cooperate represents a significant setback for the effort to tackle the world's climate related woes.

The rebuke of politicians and the international press may pale in significance, though, when compared to the hot water he is in at home.

The Brazilian Senate voted to recommend criminal charges be levied against President Jair Bolsonaro over what some view as his botched handling of the Covid pandemic, which ran rampant through Brazilian society, causing 606,000 deaths.

The senate upheld a report which recommended charges including crimes against humanity -- though the report has been received by the chief prosecutor, he was appointed by Bolsonaro.

The president has said he is "guilty of absolutely nothing".