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Amazon Fund: US Intent to Invest BRL 46.8 Billion May Not Pass US Congress – News

The Capitol, the seat of the United States Congress, is located in Washington, the capital of the United States
Jim Bourke/Reuters – Archive

While he was in Brazil, John Kerry, the US special envoy for climate change, talked about the country’s contribution of R$ 46.8 billion to the Amazon fund, but the amount may not be approved by the US Congress.

The experts asked R7 The US$9 billion that Kerry mentioned with Environment and Climate Change Minister Marina Silva on the 28th looks more like a political campaign than an investment – for the US and Brazilian governments. In fact, should be done.

oh R7 Planado contacted the White House and the palace, but did not receive a response as of the last update of this report.

“It’s a diplomatic campaign for both governments. It’s like they’re saying, ‘We have this initiative, we want to help, but we depend on Congress,'” notes Professor Virgilio Ares of the University of Brasilia. American history.

He indicated that US President Joe Biden’s political focus is on re-election in the coming months. “He will use foreign policy as a campaign, but put the onus on Congress [pelo o que não conseguir fazer]”, opinions.

Even as the U.S. president focuses on his reelection and the growing environmental issue, Biden must prioritize other countries. “It is more interesting to think about the re-election: to help Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti, which have the highest population in the United States or Brazil?”, asks the expert, who does not consider the number of Brazilian immigrants. America is relevant to other countries.

In any case, there is already propaganda here and there that both the governments are interested in saving the Amazon forest. And politics, however ephemeral, lives on impactful news.

Virgilio Ares, expert on American history

Denilde Holschucker, a political scientist and professor of international relations, agrees with her colleague and adds an observation. “This year, the disputes within the parties for the presidential elections next year are starting, so this is a difficult factor”, he pointed out, noting that the focus of the work of the Congress should not be on the authorization of financial transfers outside the borders of the United States.

US investments in other countries must be approved by the US legislature, which is made up of the House (House of Representatives) and the Senate, as in Brazil. The value Kerry pointed to was part of a plan submitted to the House in November 2021 in the last legislature — and then stalled in the House.

To be reanalyzed by representatives, the text must be resubmitted, explained Beatriz Rey, doctor in political science and senior researcher at the Center for Congressional Studies at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ).

“This proposal worked in the last Legislature, so it needs to be reintroduced. It was proposed by a Democrat. [o parlamentar Steny Hoyer, de Maryland] And it was introduced, that is, it was not even sent to the committee for discussion,” says the expert.

He urges caution about the availability of $9 billion. “If the government puts in a lot of effort, it can speed up the process, but that’s in the American political environment,” he says.

The House is controlled by Republicans and the Democratic margin in the Senate is very slim, so I would be very careful to say that this money is already there.

Beatrice Ray, PhD in Political Science

Although the project was opened in Congress, since Joe Biden is a Democrat, the party structure of the US Legislature is also an obstacle to the approval of the investments. “There is a Republican majority in the House, so it is necessary to appease this majority and gain the support of Republican representatives in addition to Democrats,” points out political scientist Denilt Holshacker.

The country’s bipartisanship had consequences for Brazil. “Republicans tend to support measures related to Brazil, but the Republican Party is aligned with the Trump base. [do ex-presidente Donald Trump, alinhado ao ex-presidente Jair Bolsonaro (PL)]President Lula’s government can oppose it”, observes Holzäcker.

“It depends on the negotiation and internal support that Biden has for this agenda. It’s a relevant agenda that tends to get an active position from some representatives. [o projeto for] Granted, it may be of lesser value [do que os US$ 9 bilhões citados por Kerry]”, says the author, explaining that the sum is not common.

That’s a significant amount, because Americans generally don’t contribute much. Biden, last year, requested $11 billion for climate change and received authorization from Congress to spend $1 billion. So, this value may not be recognized – I think it is very possible.

Denilde Holshocker, Political Scientist

What is Amazon Fund?

A deforested area of ​​the Amazon rainforest in the Puerto Velho (RO) region
Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters – 08.14.2020

The Amazon Fund was created by an ordinance in August 2008. The text authorizes the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) to manage the mechanism, with the functions of fundraising, contracting and monitoring programs and activities supported.

The goal is to raise money for activities. Areas include:
Environmental control, monitoring and inspection;
Sustainable forest management;
Economic activities are developed from the sustainable use of plants;
Regularization of land;
Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; This is
Restoration of deforested areas.

Donations occur as deforestation rates in the region decrease. The management of the fund, which undergoes two audit processes, is carried out jointly with technical and advisory committees in the presence of the central government, legal Amazon states and members of organized civil society.

Meeting in May

The next meeting of the committee will be held in May. By then, according to the report, a review of the Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon must be completed.

One of the articles in the decree that created the fund is that the basic rule for the projects is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as recognized by the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and therefore accepted as part of the goal of the Paris Agreement. .

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