Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has confirmed a cut to the environment ministry budget a day after he pledged to boost spending to tackle deforestation.
He vowed to double the money saved for environmental enforcement at a US-led climate summit and end illegal deforestation by 2030.
But the budget confirmed on Friday did not involve his spending pledge or added proposals made by Congress.
His government has decreased protections and wants to develop preserved areas.
Critics say the president’s promises on Thursday were linked to a questionable deal Brazil is negotiating with the US to receive financial aid in return for defending the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, and different areas.
Late on Friday, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said he had demanded the economy ministry to study the numbers and fulfill the pledge made by President Bolsonaro at the virtual climate summit presented by US President Joe Biden.
The environmental policies of President Bolsonaro, who influential agribusiness leaders support, have drawn widespread condemnation. The far-right leader has encouraged agriculture and mining in the Amazon and rolled back environmental legislation.
The president rejects the objection, saying Brazil remains an example for conservation. But at Thursday’s summit, he tried to strike a more friendly tone and promised that Brazil would reach zero carbon emissions by 2045, 10 years earlier than previously accepted.
US and Brazilian officials have been discussing the opportunity of collaborating to stop the destruction of the Amazon. Environmentalists and politicians have warned that the Bolsonaro government should show results before any financial involvement is made.
Earlier this week, a group of 35 Brazilian and US celebrities voiced their resistance to a deal with Brazil, saying it risked legitimizing a government assisting environmental destruction.