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The Brazilian election results could make or break the protection of the Amazon Rainforest 

The Brazilian presidential election is nearing an end this week, and the new president of Brazil will be announced in just a few days. The tension rises between the battling candidates, as do the emotions that lead up to an important election. The candidates who are on very different sides of the political spectrum have led the race since very early on in the election. Jair Bolsonaro, the conservative candidate, promises crime reform and economic boosts. Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the liberal candidate, promises environmental protection and focuses on the hunger crisis. The winner will be the deciding factor for the direction the country leans. 

For those who are not familiar with the election system in Brazil, it is very similar to the United States. Brazil elects a new president every four years; the difference is that there is no limit to how many terms the president can serve. Lula da Silva has come back for another term as he served from 2003-2011. This time around, Lula da Silva advocates for the protection of the Brazilian environment, which holds the most diverse ecosystem on earth. Brazil was one of the first countries to enter the Paris Climate Agreement when it was created in 2016. The agreement simply states that countries entered should be willing to engage in environmental protection to lower the global warming temperatures to below a certain degree. Although Brazil was one of the first to enter, there is still a slew of difficulties they have yet to work out. According to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, deforestation in the Amazon has hit a record high this year. 

The Amazon rainforest is one of the most important bodies of natural earth on the planet. Sometimes referred to as “the lungs of the earth,” the Amazon produces a significant amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. The rainforest also absorbs substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, making it the most important ecosystem on earth. Though this does not mean there is action to protect this biodiverse rainforest. The mass deforestation of the Amazon depletes its name as “the lungs of the earth” and lets the climate-warming carbon dioxide roam in our atmosphere. 

Part of Lula da Silva’s mission if he is elected is to bring protection to the Amazon and create other environmental policies. These will help to sustain the earth’s temperature, so it does not rise more than 1.5-2 degrees Celsius. Scientists quoted in Science Advances say that if the earth were to warm anymore than 1.5 degrees Celsius, we would experience severe problems. Brazil is not only one of the top ten most populated countries in the world, but it is “the sixth largest greenhouse gas emitter,” according to a Climate Home News article. The former president’s action on climate change could steer the country in the opposite direction, as right now, it leans more towards the right. His plan is to work with experts in the field to run numbers, gather information, and come up with the most effective plan for Brazil to contribute to the end of the climate crisis. 

Lula da Silva’s victory could be just what the world needs to stop the deforestation and depletion of the Amazon rainforest and regain the natural balance in the ecosystems. As of October 26, Lula da Silva is outvoting Bolsonaro. By the time you are reading this, the decision has been made, and the future of thousands of people and animals will have been concluded.