Ernesto Araújo, newly named to be Brazil’s next foreign minister by incoming president Jair Bolsonaro, believes that climate change is a false idea invented by “cultural Marxists.” As The Guardian reports, a month ago Araújo wrote in a blog post that, “This dogma has been used to justify increasing the regulatory power of states over the economy and the power of international institutions on the nation states and their populations, as well as to stifle economic growth in democratic capitalist countries and to promote the growth of China.” (Conspiracy theories about “cultural Marxism” are a staple of the alt-right and are rooted in anti-Semitism).
The appointment of Araújo is in keeping with Bolsonaro’s own extreme anti-environmentalist rhetoric. But it’s uncertain to what degree the new government will carry out its agenda. Under international pressure, Bolsonaro is already backtracking on a promise to pull out of the Paris climate accord.
Carlos Rittl of the Brazilian Climate Observatory believes that Brazil is vulnerable to international campaigns. “Bolsonaro is not Trump,” Rittl told The Guardian. “Brazil is not the United States. We don’t have the same cards. If Brazil becomes a pariah on the global climate agenda, it would be extremely bad for our business, especially agribusiness. When they go to Europe to negotiate a deal, climate safeguards will be on the table. ”