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Brazil: Incoming Administration

Volume 650: debated on Tuesday 4 December 2018

The Prime Minister has written to President-elect Bolsonaro. Our ambassador in Brazil has seen him, many of the future Ministers and the transition team, and we look forward to working very closely with Brazil in the time ahead.

The great Sir David Attenborough said yesterday that climate change is humanity’s “greatest threat”. We all know that the Amazon rainforest is known as the planet’s lungs, yet we are seeing an alarming and irreversible rate of deforestation in the Amazon and worrying noises are coming out of the new Administration about their approach. So will our Government play a strong global leadership role in ensuring that the new Brazilian Administration understand their responsibility to protect the rainforest and the consequences if they do not do so?

The answer to the hon. Lady’s question is a very clear yes—the UK, of course, is fully committed. The Brazilian Government come into office on 1 January. The President-elect has already said that Brazil will remain a party to the Paris agreement. Our ambassador has already discussed this with the incoming Government and we will continue to put pressure on and lobby in the same way as we always do in favour of climate change legislation and adherence to the Paris agreement.

In any discussions the Minister may have with the new President, will he ensure that the understanding comes across that the populism that is sweeping across much of the democratic world is because of mainstream Administrations internationally leaving many of the populations behind? That is giving rise to the populism we see today.

I understand exactly what the hon. Gentleman is saying. I think that all Governments need to serve the needs of all their people. We have seen the rise of the right in quarters closer to home across Europe, including in regional elections in Spain last week. I agree that populism has its serious dangers. We want to see all Administrations serve the needs of their country, as we would all wish to see.