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The error in climate diplomacy

Journalist who presided over the Chamber of Deputies, was rapporteur for the Forest Code and minister in the portfolios of Political Coordination and Institutional Relations; of Sport; Science, Technology and Innovation and Defense.

Aldo Rebelo

Translated by Alexandre Carvalho, Silvia Benchimol and Ewerton Branco


John Kerry, the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, former Senator and former Secretary of State concluded his visit to Brazil after one meeting with President Lula, Vice-President Geraldo Alckmin, and Minister of Indigenous Peoples Sônia Guajajara, and two meetings with Minister of Environment Marina Silva.

It is worth noticing that President Lula had already met John Kerry during the Egypt Conference, in November 2022. 

Marina Silva, at that time, already designated to be a Minister, had also met Kerry twice in the same occasion in Sharm el-Sheikh resort town, during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Another relevant detail about this visit is that it happened 15 days after the encounter of President Lula and President Joe Biden in the United States. 

This was an indisputable evidence of the Brazilian collaboration with the North-American agenda for environment, global warming, greenhouse gases neutralization and energy transition.

At the end of his visit, the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate did not announce the expected contribution for the Amazon Fund, but left an ambiguous statement in the air instead. 

It concerns the Brazilian sovereignty over the Amazon drawn up on the idea that this part of the Brazilian territory is very important to the world. 

This would be the case of informing the empire representative that the Silicon Valley in California, the technology developed there, and the giant companies established there are also important to the world, although the United States do not indicate they are willing to discuss the roles and the destiny of the Silicon Valley with the rest of the world.

Brazil makes an error when it celebrates the unilateral alliance with the United States in a multilateral issue like the climate agenda. The country renounces its traditional conflict mediation diplomacy when it chooses one side in the negotiating table, assuming the dangerous consequences of this position.

By adopting the preferential alliance with the United States, Brazil ignores the contribution of the ambassador Araújo Castro, former chancellor during João Goulart government and former Brazilian delegation leader during the first Climate Conference in Stockholm, in 1972. 

During the conference, Araújo Castro denounced the attempt of rich countries to use environmental issues to endeavor to what he called deadlock of world power, which consisted in the division of countries in two large groups: one that consumes natural resources and raw materials and the other that provides those resources. 

Brazil must offer its invaluable contribution to the global debate on the environment and the reduction of greenhouse gas emission, but the country must guarantee to Brazilians the right to a full development and to the elevation of material and spiritual life patterns, with environmental and social responsibility.