Environment Minister mentioned contradictions of a government that engages with climate change fight but makes a fuss on drilling oil in Amazon basin
Marina Silva — Foto: Fabio Rodrigues-Pozzebom/Agência Brasil
Environment and Climate Change Minister Marina Silva has sent a clear message to her opponents inside and outside the government: she does not intend to leave her post.
“Congress is turning the provisional measure of the government that won into the provisional measure of the government that lost. This happened in several agendas, especially in the environmental and Indigenous peoples’ agenda,” she said. “We have to resist.”
Marina Silva said that resistance will be done “by creating alternatives, by looking for solutions, and by taking care of the legacy.” She recalled that President Lula “won with the legacy of democracy and we are part of that legacy. It is a broad front government. We are here as part of it.”
This was the message of the inauguration ceremony of the new president of the Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), Mauro Pires, held on Thursday in Brasília. Despite the pressure received from the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Congress, and parts of the Workers’ Party, she reminded that the socio-environmental agenda is transversal. “We will not face the climate crisis if the environmental agenda is not present in all sectors of government and society.”
“We want to be the country of sustainable development, which will face the problem of climate change, which will reduce deforestation and achieve zero deforestation in 2030,” she continued.
“What is happening in Congress is not good for anyone, including Congress and agribusiness,” she repeated.
Ms. Silva also showed her resilience in her own way. She invoked one of the legends of the Italian Niccolò Paganini, considered the greatest violin player in history, to say that she remains in the government, despite the crisis between Ibama and Petrobras over the oil in the Amazon estuary, and Wednesday’s disastrous day, when Congress tried to weaken her ministry and that of the indigenous peoples.
She told the story of how Paganini (1782-1840) was giving a concert, and the audience was enjoying the music coming out of his violin when a string on the instrument broke. “He didn’t stop, he kept playing, making that wonderful sound,” she said. Then another string broke, and the orchestra was even more embarrassed and stopped playing, but the musician kept playing, and the orchestra came back to accompany him. Other strings broke until only one remained. “He continued to play with only one string. We will try to make Paganini’s effort,” she said.
Ms. Silva acknowledged that “we are going through a difficult time,” but added that “good wood does not grow in peace.” She recalled that Brazilian environmental policy has made progress, and that “it is always progress with a lot of struggles.”
She mentioned, without being explicit, the contradictions of a government that fills the ministries with secretariats and departments to fight climate change but makes a fuss about exploring more oil, and drilling oil in areas in front of the Amazon. “There are contradictions, but we are here to manage them,” she simply said.
Ms. Silva recalled that she is tenacious. She reiterated that “it is not easy, but the best way to contribute is to face adversity. It is by staying here that we can contribute to the great changes that Brazil needs.”
In an interview after the event, she said that “Of course Congress is sovereign, we respect the autonomy of the powers, but the federal government has the right to organize itself in the way it believes is best for its management.”
She said that this is the moment “to continue fighting for the National Environmental System.” It was a clear message to Congress, which intends to weaken the Ministry by eliminating the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR), the National Water Agency (ANA), and solid waste management.
She explained the roadmap she has in mind. “We have to take the immense comparative advantages of Brazil and turn them into competitive advantages, and more than that, into transformative advantages.”
She continued: “The country can transform high-carbon agriculture into low-carbon agriculture; the power generation mix, which is already more than 40% clean, can be even cleaner and export sustainability if we produce green hydrogen to help those who have difficulties in making the energy transition.”
She recalled the leadership of China, a country that in 2012 decided to become the largest exporter of technology for the ecological transition by 2025. “They are already that, long before 2025.”
Present at the ceremony were several ambassadors and representatives from Norway, France, Italy, and the European Union, along with Ibama’s president Rodrigo Agostinho, the director-general of the Federal Police Andrei Augusto, the president of the National Indian Foundation (Funai) Joenia Wapichana, among others.
*Por Daniela Chiaretti — São Paulo
Source: Valor International