Environmental litigation during the government of Jair Bolsonaro is increasing in the Federal Supreme Court (STF). Research by the Ford Foundation and the Institute for Climate and Society (iCS), published in a report in Valor , shows that 45% of the 87 judicial actions that were responsible for questioning environmental policies between 2019 and 2020 were filed directly in the highest court of the country. Ana Maria Cárcamo, the research coordinator, explains that, in the current context, the perception is that it is necessary to limit the damage – being propositional is difficult.
Rafael Giovanelli, an expert in public policy at WWF-Brazil, which is an organization that acts as an interested party (amicus curiae) in three of the actions in progress at the STF, says that the leading role of the judiciary is directly due to the fact that those who should formulate the socioenvironmental public policies are not only closed to dialogue, but also promote the deconstruction of these same policies.
Of the nearly 90 actions proposed in the last two years in all the instances of the judiciary, the research shows that the significant majority refer to environmental protection, indigenous rights, traditional communities and the loss of participation of civil society in decisions. One of the subjects and requests is the resumption of the operation of the Climate Fund and the Amazon Fund – in the latter, there is no less than R$ 2.9 billion frozen, and which should be transferred to control the deforestation.
The non-governmental organizations consider that the greatest environmental litigation, due to the high rates of deforestation in the Amazon, is the action that requests the STF to oblige the government to implement the plan to prevent the deforestation in the Amazon, the same plan that helped to reduce deforestation by 80% in the biome between 2004 and 2012. It is also the request that unites the largest number of political parties.
The opening up of a dialogue with civil society and the respect for science are indispensable paths to confront the climate emergency, says Giovanelli.