Climate Change
Climate Diplomacy
South America
Karl Mathiesen, Climate Home

Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro has named an anti-globalist diplomat to lead foreign affairs and his country’s relationship with the Paris Agreement. Ernesto Araújo, a relatively junior diplomat, accuses the left of using the environmental cause ‘to serve their political project of total domination’.

[This article originally appeared on Climate Home]

Ernesto Araújo has praised US president Donald Trump and accused the political left of appropriating climate change to serve an ideological agenda. He currently runs Brazil’s US and Canada department, a relatively junior position in the foreign service, and only became an ambassador this year. On Twitter announcing his new minister, Bolsonaro called Araújo a “brilliant intellectual”.

During the election campaign, Araújo started a blog, which he used to question the moral underpinnings of internationalism. In a post on 12 October, Araújo wrote that the left twisted legitimate causes “to serve their political project of total domination”. Thousands of studies by hundreds of scientists agree that climate change is real, serious and driven by human activity. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report warned that only radical action can avert dangerous impacts.

Araújo has dismissed that body of evidence, claiming it is selective and politically motivated. “The left has appropriated the environmental cause and perverted it to the point of paroxysm over the last 20 years with the ideology of climate change, the climatism,” he wrote in the blog post. This movement gathered data “suggesting a correlation” between rising temperatures and CO2, he claimed. They “ignored data suggesting the opposite… and created a ‘scientific’ dogma that no one else can contest or he will be excommunicated from good society – exactly the opposite of the scientific spirit.”

His claims contradict not only the vast majority of climate scientists but also the consensus among world leaders. To date, 184 countries – including Brazil under a previous administration – have ratified the Paris Agreement, agreeing to cooperate to cut greenhouse gas emissions. In 2017, Araújo wrote in a diplomatic journal that “only Trump can save the west” – a bastardisation of Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger.

Like Trump, Brazil’s president-elect comes to power amid uncertainty about whether he will leave the Paris Agreement. Early in his campaign, Bolsonaro threatened to quit the deal, then in the days before the election took a softer stance. Araújo, who shares Bolsonaro’s suspicions about the international order, will take charge of the department that oversees Brazil’s position at international climate negotiations.

Brazil is in line to host next year’s UN climate talks. Bolsonaro has given no indication whether his administration will pursue this initiative. On Wednesday, Climate Home News reported that the election campaign saw a near 50% rise in deforestation compared with the same period last year. Federal environment agents said emboldened criminal gangs had warned them “things will change” under Bolsonaro.

Source:
Climate Home

Climate Change
Security
Oceania & Pacific
Delia Paul, IISD

At the conclusion of the 50th Pacific Islands Forum, Pacific leaders issued a Forum Communiqué and the ‘Kainaki II Declaration for Urgent Climate Change Action Now’ – the strongest collective statement the Forum has issued on climate change. Pacific leaders highlight the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, the SAMOA Pathway Review, and 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC as “global turning points to ensure meaningful, measurable and effective climate change action”.

Climate Diplomacy
Private Sector
South America
Central America & Caribbean
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If ratified, the Mercosur-EU trade deal may reinforce the parties’ commitment to climate action. Yet, its potential relevance is weakened by a language that often stops short of concrete commitments, as well as by political resistance.

Climate Change
Water
Middle East & North Africa
Theodore Karasik and Jacopo Spezia Depretto, Fair Observer

Iraq is on the verge of an environmental breakdown, and climate change is not helping. The country's fragile environment and the increasing scarcity of natural resources — particularly water — are a result of poor environmental management, as well as several political and historical factors. However, as climate change impacts add to the existing pressures, the environmental collapse turns into a security issue.

Climate Change
Land & Food
Global Issues
Robert McSweeney, Carbon Brief

The severity of desertification and its mutual relationship with climate change cannot be overstated. In light of the recent launch of the Special Report on Climate Change and Land by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Robert McSweeney from Carbon Brief explains what desertification is, what role climate change plays, and what impact it has across the world.