Brazil Backs Off Controversial Plan to Open Amazon Forest to Mining
Temer's controversial proposal had allowed mining in the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca), a 17,800-square-mile nature reserve the size of Switzerland that's known to be an essential carbon sink. The area is believed to be rich in gold, manganese, iron and copper.
Temer's decree had been met with widespread international condemnation over fears of deforestation. The country's congress even called it the "biggest attack on the Amazon in 50 years," the Guardian reported. A judge suspended the president's plan just a few days later.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy said in its statement that the government has re-established the conditions of area based on a document that created the reserve in 1984.
The Amazon is Earth's biggest rainforest and is estimated to be home to 10 percent of Earth's known species and several indigenous tribes.
Greenpeace Brazil's Marcio Astrini cheered the reversal. "It is victory of society over those who want to destroy and sell our forest," he said.
"Renca," however, "is just a battle," he noted.
"The war against the Amazon and its different peoples, promoted by Temer and big agribusiness, is still on."
Indeed, the Ministry of Mines and Energy signaled in its announcement that the fight is not over yet.
"The country needs to grow and generate jobs, attract investment to the mining sector, and even tap the economic potential of the region," it said.
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By Governor Jay Inslee
Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.
In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.
Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.
By Bill McKibben
To understand the planetary importance of this autumn's presidential election, check the calendar. Voting ends on November 3—and by a fluke of timing, on the morning of November 4 the United States is scheduled to pull out of the Paris Agreement.
President Trump announced that we would abrogate our Paris commitments during a Rose Garden speech in 2017. But under the terms of the accords, it takes three years to formalize the withdrawal. So on Election Day it won't be just Americans watching: The people of the world will see whether the country that has poured more carbon into the atmosphere than any other over the course of history will become the only country that refuses to cooperate in the one international effort to do something about the climate crisis.