The presidency of the Commission for the Environment and Sustainable Development (CMDAS) of the Chamber of Deputies should go to a PT congressman linked to the socio-environmental cause.
With an outcome scheduled for this week, the party negotiations ruled out the possibility that a ruralist could command the Environment Commission, an essential body for the implementation of the Lula government’s (PT) environmental policy.
Aired a month ago, the possible nomination for the position of the former Minister of the Environment in the Bolsonaro administration and deputy Ricardo Salles (PL-SP), who is accused of environmental crimes, provoked repudiation from supporters of the socio-environmental cause. An online petition with 75,000 signatures asked for an environmentalist on the Commission.
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PT should nominate environmental deputy
Within the Workers’ Party (PT), the consensus is the appointment of re-elected deputy Nilto Tatto (PT-SP) to chair the Environment Commission. The nomination should be made in the coming days by the leader of the acronym’s bench in the Chamber, Deputy Zeca Dirceu (PT-PR).
Opponent of the anti-environmental agenda pushed by the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government in Congress for the past four years, Tatto is also the new president of the Environmentalist Parliamentary Front (FPA), made up of 138 deputies and installed last week.
Headed until then by the ruralist deputy Covatti Filho (PP-RS), the Environment Commission will be the scene of fierce political disputes on which the success of the Lula government’s campaign promises depend.
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The Environmentalist Parliamentary Front is preparing to guide projects that put Brazil on the path to zero deforestation by 2030. For the opposition, ruralist deputies will defend the continuity of the “boiada” projects that seek to legalize the advance of the agricultural frontier over the biomes.
Holding setbacks and promoting advances, designs Tatto
“We are going to discuss how to create policies for adapting to climate change to avoid further suffering with issues such as the prolonged drought in Rio Grande do Sul or the extreme event that recently hit the north coast of São Paulo,” said Nilton Tatto to the Brazil in fact.
The parliamentarian assesses that the Environment Commission will have strategic importance in holding back “environmental setbacks” guided by Bolsonarism, in addition to defending initiatives that reduce gas emissions that cause global warming.
“We will engage in dialogue with civil society and popular movements to think about policies that will help the Executive to implement President Lula’s government plan”, projected the probable new president of the Environment Commission.
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Commission lost relevance under control of ruralists
The Chamber’s Environmental Commission is a specialized body, the stage for technical debates that have improved Brazilian environmental legislation in recent decades. Suely Araújo, senior specialist in public policies at the Climate Observatory (OC), hopes that, from now on, the deliberative instance will regain the importance it once had.
“In the years when representatives of the ruralist group assumed power in this Commission, the agenda began to highlight matters that are not relevant, and the level of debates dropped a lot. So you lose the collegiate body as an arena for technical debate that has to take place for the production of robust legislation that advances in the protection of the Environment, and not that it goes towards retrogression”, he lamented.
Legislative consultant for the Chamber of Deputies in the area of environmental law for 25 years, Araújo warns that proposals are being discussed in Congress that, in practice, destroy essential laws for socio-environmental balance.
“That is why the option for parliamentarians who know the subject and defend the environmental agenda to assume the presidency of the Commission is relevant. It really is a strategic moment. We hope that the right choice is made”, said the specialist.
Double Lira/Bolsonaro emptied Commission
Until then aligned with Bolsonaro’s anti-environmental policy, the mayor Arthur Lira (PP-AL) has acted in recent years to reduce the importance of the commissions, putting bills directly in plenary, without going through the Environment Commission.
“This was actually a mistake because the committees are really the proper forum for the main technical debates in parliament. So the progressive loss of relevance of the committees of the permanent committees is a sign of a reduction in the quality of democracy. This is a point that Brazilians have to pay attention to”, pointed out the member of the Climate Observatory.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho
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