Forest Code in the debate GlobeFriday October 3rd, 2014
October 3, 2014
Roberto Smeraldi *
Despite the role of Marina Silva in the presidential campaign – and the presence in the running of a respected Green Party candidate, former deputy and former secretary of the environment of São Paulo Eduardo Jorge – environmental issues were paradoxically absent in the electoral debate to the moment. Apparently the Marina campaign understood that their candidate would need to gain credibility among voters on other topics and sought to move away from any reductive stigma environmentalist candidate. On the other hand the president, who spared no effort to reach the rival’s image, not used his role as Minister of the Environment to criticize it, possibly not to generate a possible friendly fireagainst the government of President Lula. But not even Aetius, who would not face this restriction in theory, touched this key.
But the theme “climate change” became finally barbs object of exchange in the last debate, not by choice of candidates but because the Globo included among those priority for discussion. And were Aetius and Dilma those who had to express it. Let’s try to understand what they said and the merits of the arguments used.
President Dilma started highlighting the emission reduction commitment for 2020 assumed by Brazil and the reduction “systematic” deforestation. It may be due here to correct the use of systematic adjective, as in fact over the last few years there has been a substantial stabilization in rates, after a significant reduction in the second Lula government. It also should be noted that Dilma made to clarify that the reduction is only on the Amazon (as in other biomes was not recorded the same reduction). But considering the paucity of time available, the introduction of the president can be considered correct in general.
Aécio immediately went on the attack, saying that the management of president was characterized by going against the grain of sustainability, to be marked by a policy of subsidies to fossil fuels. This statement is correct and is legitimate, indeed associate the Dilma government to a strong subsidy for fossil fuels. Aécio do not have an explicit history of opposition to such subsidies, as a parliamentarian, but it is true that throughout 2014, even before the campaign, has stressed the need to remove them.
Then Aécio criticized the delay of the President to regulate and facilitate the Rural Environmental Registry, the main novelty introduced by the Forest Code. He highlighted the significant delay in the regulation of the standard (correctly), but stating that it was slow in those rules of conduct “in Congress” and responsible for both “the governing coalition.” As a parliamentarian, Aécio should know that the regulation was only the prerogative of the Executive (which would have to become his most scathing critique). Also, you should know that anyone who opposes the Congress to implement the code is part of the caucus (and not of the governing coalition), so including parliamentarians from his own party.
Aécio went on to state the need for change in the energy matrix (a correct strategic nature of concern), seeking to show how the government has failed in this task, to despise the wind (and not provide your network connection) as well as wasting the potential of biomass, which in his words “equivalent to a Belo Monte.” The PSDB candidate proved to be well informed in this regard and went to conservative because the unused potential of biomass is up to well above the effective generation potential of Belo Monte. And finally reminded of the need to tackle deforestation that “returned to growth” in the present government years.
In response, the president accused the candidate Aécio lack of “familiarity” with the Rural Environmental Registry, as the deadline for the registration is already underway and the regulation has already been made. Here the President was correct in information but failed to answer the applicant’s criticism of the delay. Dilma then went on to state that 79% of the energy matrix would be “environmentally sound and sustainable”: it is difficult to understand where to see this data. Even if Dilma considered in this category all hydroelectric generation (which would be obviously incorrect), we would be far from this percentage. Here there was clearly a slip. And then came an incomprehensible statement, perhaps because of the time was pressing and that prevented the PT candidate explain what he wanted to say, that by which the ”
It was the turn of Aécio clarify that the previous criticism of CAR was referring to the two-year delay in the regulations, even if now it has already occurred. And again stressed the fact that the current government is “messing mother” from fossils, to have increased from 22% to 30% the share of thermal power in the matrix (this figure is close to reality). Closed opining that this is an example of improvisation and lack of planning that characterize the Dilma government.
It should be noted that at another time of the debate, when Dilma credited his government the allocation of pre-salt royalties for education, the candidate Eduardo Jorge criticized noting that it is a benefit “that walks through the door and out the window “, because at the same time improving education ends up creating health and environmental costs, and sustainable way to finance education would be from budget and not permanent sources of royalties.
In general, it can be concluded that the way in which candidates face the issue today reflects a realization that – as in other sectors such as education or health – who does more is better . This represents a change from the recent past, to do more about environmental issues was considered electorally, a two – edged sword, because it could damage the image director of the candidate’s economic area. Today Dilma clearly proud of his achievements, and even out beyond what could while Aécio criticism for doing little to do long time and especially for contradicting its environmental policy from other policies, which is a novelty in presidential debates. Probably, if the runoff should hear more about it.
* Roberto Smeraldi, 54, journalist, is director of OSCIP Friends of the Earth – Brazilian Amazon