NY Times opinion article asks how far American companies like BlackRock will go to enable climate- and Indigenous-rights wrecking leaders like Bolsonaro
The rise of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has put the environment human rights, and the global climate in peril. His promises to open the Amazon for business could result in huge deforestation and the release of vast greenhouse-gas emissions, and his threats to slash fundamental environmental and indigenous rights standards that help keep the Amazon standing are a threat to climate stability.
Mr. Bolsonaro, however, wouldn't be the only one to blame for devastating the Amazon. The agribusiness companies that accept his invitation to reap profit from Amazon destruction, and the financial institutions - like BlackRock - that provide the capital, will also bear great responsibility. And those poised to benefit from Mr. Bolsonaro's reckless policies include American companies and financial institutions.
These companies and financial institutions, therefore, have the potential to exert pressure on the very companies that could either moderate or enable Mr. Bolsonaro’s threats to the future of the Amazon – and the climate. Will they be complicit in Mr. Bolsonaro's assault on the Amazon and its people, thus sacrificing their commitments, their reputation and our climate?
If these influential companies don't take a clear and principled stand against Mr. Bolsonaro's promises to open the Amazon for business, they will also bear responsibility for abetting his plunder of the world's largest tropical rainforest.