He’s in: Jair Bolsonaro’s climate policies will be keenly watched, despite the slight softening of his stance. | Image credit:

Brazil elects ‘Trump of the Tropics’ for prez , sparks fears for Amazon rainforest, global climate efforts

Brazil has elected right-wing former army captain Jair Bolsonaro as the new president, sparking fears for Amazon rainforest, which he has vowed to open to agribusiness and industry. During his election campaign, he had threatened to withdraw Brazil from the Paris accord, but retracted his stand last week after a huge media uproar internationally.

Experts doubt if Brazil’s plans to host the 2019 UN climate summit will materialize. Campaigners want the EU to use its trade clout to safeguard the Amazon forest.

Merkel’s exit from politics seen as a blow to climate action

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, will step down as the leader of her political party in early December. Merkel currently heads the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and is in her fourth term as the German Chancellor. Although Merkel said that she would like to stay on as the Chancellor until the end of her term in 2021, it is likely that she will be replaced in December by the new leader of CDU. Climate activist see Merkel’s exit as a serious blow to the global climate negotiations and hope that Emmanuel Macron is able to fill the gap.

Favorite candidates for the top position are CDU’s current General Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and the current Minister of Health, Jens Spahn.

 Green Climate Fund revived, gives nod to $1 bn climate change projects

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been revived after its July board meeting meltdown, to approve $1 billion worth of projects to help developing countries tackle climate change. However, the US-China trade war spilled into the GCF meeting, as US vetoed the $100 million GCF loan to China. India received $43 million to boost climate resilience for coastal communities.

Trump appoints coal & nuclear energy supporter as head of US energy regulatory commission

US President Donald Trump has appointed Neil Chatterjee – a supporter of subsidizing ageing coal and nuclear power plants – as chief of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Chatterjee had backed US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry’s directive to bail out coal and nuclear plants – that the FERC itself had rejected.

Canada to impose carbon tax on provinces lagging on climate action

Canada’s federal govt. will impose up to $50 a tonne carbon tax by 2022 on provinces that do not have a tax of their own or don’t comply with the national climate plan. The tax will likely be imposed on Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. 

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