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Brazil is using the pandemic to weaken environmental protections

Clouds of smoke over an area consumed by fires in August 2020 near Lábrea, Amazonas in Brazil

Edmar Barros/AP/Shutterstock

Brazil’s government has passed 57 major legislative acts that weaken environmental protections in the country, and 49 per cent of these were enacted in the seven months since the covid-19 pandemic was declared in March.

Erika Berenguer at the University of Oxford and her colleagues analysed legislation in the 21 months after January 2019, when President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration took power, finding that September 2020 was the month with the highest number of acts that limited environmental protections.

“The way …

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