• Bruce Rich
  • Environmental Forum
  • January-February 2014
  • p. 20

Climate change mitigation efforts across the world face powerful economic forces — a deregulated, voracious globalized economy fed by increasing demand for energy and resources....A seminal 2012 article by Philip Fearnside of Brazil’s National Institute for Amazon Research and two Brazilian colleagues identifies how these threats [in the Amazon]  are largely linked with the rapidly growing role of China in the Brazilian economy. China is Brazil’s largest trading partner, and its largest importer of soybeans and iron. Brazilian exports to China from the Amazon have grown at an astounding rate of 52 percent annually for over a decade. Brazil is now the world’s largest soya producer and much of its increasing production has fed deforestation. Huge exports have strengthened the relative economic and political power of Brazilian agrobusiness, which according to Fearnside, has had “profound effects on domestic politics that are reflected in legislative and administrative changes weakening environmental protection.” 

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