Lula Coming in Hot with a Green Vision for Brazil 

  • Lula put into place successful environmental measures to cut deforestation rates and reverse the detrimental trend from the previous administration.
  • He has acquired respect and recognition on the international scene as a result of his active engagement in international climate agreements.
  • Lula’s dedication to a revolutionary green economy is viewed as a viable remedy for Brazil’s economic issues, with the potential to create millions of jobs and enhance living standards for millions of Brazilians.
Lula da Silva
President of Brazil Lula da Silva

Why is Lula Hot?

Answer: Lula established a successful track record passing environmental policies and gaining international recognition.

During his run for president, now-President Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva pledged to strengthen Brazil’s climate strategy, which he considered was deficient, in order to demonstrate his commitment to tackling climate change. This commitment was made in response to the alarming increase in deforestation rates that occurred under the previous administration of Jair Bolsonaro, who had shown doubt and disinterest in international climate governance, and under whose leadership deforestation rates reached their highest levels since 2008 in 2021.

Lula’s victory in the presidential election gave him hope for the fight against climate change, and he didn’t waste any time establishing a successful record of implementing environmental laws and winning respect across the world. Lula has made strides towards environmental protection in the eight months since he took office, placing him at the forefront of the fight against climate change.

Lula pledged to stop deforestation and deal with climate change during his presidential campaign, and he has delivered on these promises with deeds. His administration has succeeded in reducing deforestation rates, reversing the trend that had existed under Bolsonaro. His reputation as a climate advocate has been cemented by this accomplishment alone, which has won him broad international recognition.

Considering his established dedication to halting climate change and preserving the Amazon rainforest, Lula’s “heat level” is Hot. Leaders from around the world and climate activists have expressed trust in him following his stunning victory in the presidential election. However, his administration has difficult obstacles, such as organised crime gangs that are responsible for deforestation and the significant funding needed to reestablish law enforcement’s presence throughout the vast and inaccessible rainforest.

What is changing Lula’s heat level?

Answer: Domestic scepticism about foreign investment. 

Although the margin of victory for Lula’s election to the presidency was just 51%, it was clear that he would have challenges to his return. Lula’s opponents worry about his engagement in foreign investment since it has the potential to create more constraints than opportunities. For the Brazilian population, it is unsettling for their president to continue feeding the power imbalances in the current competition between developed and developing states causing more instability by relying on international investment.

However, Lula seeks to use these investments for climate policy, especially after concerns about higher rates of environmental violations during previous president Bolsonaro’s administration. Lula became president after an era of depleted climate security, where now, the world watches his policies for reassurance. 

To comfort Brazilian polarisation, Lula holds close support to the debate on climate responsibility, in which he promotes an accurate representation of accountability regarding developed and developing countries. This stance presents that Lula is open to financial support from developed countries to encourage Brazil’s recovery from climate depletion and its efforts towards preventative measures. For example, Lula’s attempts to engage in an OPEC for Rainforests with Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo advance financial interests, wherein the funds would funnel into endeavours to move away from polluting industries and address rainforest countries’ needs accordingly.

With the European Union passing laws that prevent trade with products related to deforestation, Lula entertains the European efforts to reform agriculture, or he risks fines for Brazil’s exports. There’s no certainty on the impact of this potential shift to more sustainable practices, although they might be significant for the Brazilian economy as they can expand exports to the EU while increasing employment and manufacturing. 

The accumulation of finances Lula intends to receive during his time in office concerns conservative groups and the Brazilian Central Bank. With Lula’s history of corruption, the possibility of mismanagement, high spending and misconduct looms in the air. Meeting expectations that avoid these troubles will significantly impact Lula’s integrity and his policies’ efficiency, whether environmental or socioeconomic programs.

What is driving Lula?

Answer: Potential Brazilian economy through a transformative green revolution.

A better economic situation for Brazil is on Lula’s agenda, and his method to achieve these goals is climate policies. Lula’s efforts to promote a positive Brazilian impression on international relations to gain foreign investment translate into improved employment rates and human capital. 

The transformed green economy can impact the impression of the twelve million people who lacked employment by the end of 2021 since by 2030, there is the potential to generate 9.5 million career opportunities in Brazil. Lula succeeding all his climate policies in these coming years and providing this transformed economy will enable him to increase his support in the next elections.

During his administration, the global community will be watching for advancements in the fight against climate change. If he can win over additional investors, he will be able to develop these opportunities. Alone, projects and companies focused on replating trees would provide 2 million jobs in underdeveloped areas affected by deforestation.

The necessity of preserving the environment, creating jobs, and reducing poverty through sustainable economic development are all emphasised in Lula’s all-encompassing strategy. It demonstrates his dedication to converting foreign investments into a greener Brazilian economy, which will have numerous advantages such as better access to financial resources, increased water supply to urban centres, decreased disaster risks, improved biodiversity conservation, and the immediate creation of thousands of rural jobs.

The magnitude of this new economy is substantially larger than the existing one, built on the unsustainable exploitation of Amazonian natural resources. But to achieve this situation, the President needs to separate economic growth and deforestation despite fears of loss in profit and GDP.

What does this mean for you?

Answer: Futher South-South climate collaboration.

Beyond Brazil’s borders, Lula’s climate leadership has significant repercussions for both the region and the world stage. His active participation in international climate agreements like the Paris Agreement highlights Brazil’s commitment to reducing climate change and establishes a standard for other countries to follow.

Lula’s election triumph has given him more respect and influence among international leaders and climate campaigners. Along with promising to stop deforestation, his platform stresses the significance of sustainable economic development. This forward-looking strategy integrates economic development with environmental protection, providing a model for a more sustainable future on a worldwide scale. However, it’s critical to recognise the obstacles that still need to be overcome, such as combating organised crime that is responsible for deforestation and securing the significant financing required to support law enforcement efforts throughout the vast and difficult terrain of the Amazon jungle.

Authors: Lana Francella and Maxima Yasmin Riep

Sponsorship: This article is based on a report that the authors wrote as part of a collaboration between IE University’s IE School of Politics, Economics and Global Affairs and RAIA NOW gUG. The funding for this project solely comes from the IE School of Politics, Economics and Global Affairs.


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