Brazil faces international backlash over Amazon land reform bill

Published in Financial Times

With Ilona Szabó

 

Brazil is facing a backlash from international businesses and activists over plans to pass a land reform that critics say risks fuelling a surge in deforestation in the Amazon.

More than 40 European companies, including Tesco and Marks and Spencer, have warned they were planning to boycott Brazilian products if the bill passes. A vote in Congress is due in the coming days.

Deforestation in Brazil’s section of the Amazon surged 55 per cent to 1,200km2 in the first four months of this year, compared with the same period last year, according to the Brazilian space agency. This is because illegal loggers and miners have sought to take advantage of a lull in environmental enforcement during the Covid-19 pandemic, environmental activists suggest.