Brazilian Environment Minister Says Pandemic is “Opportunity” to Change Environmental Laws

Deforestation hit an 11-year high last year and has increased 55 percent in the first four months of the year, compared to a year ago, with environmentalists blaming Bolsonaro’s policies.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - (Reuters) Brazilian Environment Minister Ricardo Salles called on the government to push through further deregulation of environmental policy while people are distracted by the coronavirus pandemic, in a video the Supreme Court ordered released on Friday.

The video of a ministers’ meeting surfaced in an investigation of whether President Jair Bolsonaro interfered in appointing leaders of the federal police for personal gain.

During the meeting, other ministers spoke, including Salles, with environmental groups saying his remarks prove that the Bolsonaro government is systematically seeking to dismantle environmental protections.

“We need to make an effort while we . . .

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