Bolsonaro Throws a 15-Year Lifeline to Thermal Coal in Brazil
(Bloomberg) -- One of the biggest villains of climate change, coal, has won a reprieve from the Brazilian government.
On Wednesday, President Jair Bolsonaro sanctioned a bill to extend the life of a thermal power complex in the country’s south for 15 years, until 2040. His administration refers to the measure as the “fair energy transition program” for the coal region of Santa Catarina state.
Brazil is a minor consumer of coal, burning in a year what China does in three days. Still, the bill’s approval is the latest example of a country out of step with other major economies when it comes to climate change. Bolsonaro’s cabinet has sought to draw foreign capital to oil exploration and develop more of the Amazonian rain forest region.
In a statement, the presidency said it aims “to preserve the carbon neutrality goals of the Brazilian economy until 2050, dealing responsibly with the economic, social and environmental impacts of the phase-out of mining activity, in line with the concept of Climate Justice widely debated at COP26.”
But the complex’s thermoelectric plants result in annual emissions of around 4.43 million tons a year, and will bring extra costs to consumers, according to the Association of Large Industrial Consumers of Energy and Free Consumers.
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