Brazil is backing up to hold next year’s UN summit on climate change this week, just one month before the inauguration of right-right CEO Jair Bolsonaro.
The summit was scheduled for November 2019 and the UN will now have to find a new place.
In a statement to The New York Times, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said that the decision was made to save money.
Bolsonaro has promised to revoke environmental restrictions and empower commercial efforts in the Amazon and other protected Brazilian biomes.
Rainforest deforestation in Brazil is at the worst level in a decade and environmentalists are worried that it will only worsen with Bolsonaro in charge.
Bolsonaro promised to limit fines for harmful forests during its campaign. Aide has also said that the presidential government’s new administration will merge the Agriculture and Environment Ministries, the BBC reported.
Ernesto Araújo, Bolsonaro’s election to Foreign Minister, called global efforts to combat climate change a plot of “Marxists” in order to harm the economies of capitalist democracies and increase China’s international status.
“Brazil’s image is in danger”, Carlos Rittl, Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Climate Observatory, told the Times. “Climate and the environment are the only problems where Brazil is leading global. We are not leaders in world trade, we are not leaders in geopolitical sense about security issues. But on climate and environment, we are leaders, and we give it up.”