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HomeEconomyOpinion - Marcos de Vasconcellos: Environmentalism for Europeans to see

Opinion – Marcos de Vasconcellos: Environmentalism for Europeans to see


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The terrible origin of the expression “para Inglês ver” —to describe something that exists, but is not “for real”—is in the series of laws created in Brazil to pretend that we were ending slavery when, in fact, it was extending to inhuman practice in the national territory.

The Eusébio de Queiroz Law prohibited the trafficking of slaves, but not their exploitation; the Lei do Ventre Livre, in fact, kept the children of enslaved women captive until they were 21 years old; the Sexagenarian Law promised freedom to anyone who achieved the miracle of reaching the age of 60, under hideous conditions. All to please the wishes of the powerful England, which began to impose sanctions on countries that did not end slavery.

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Alleging economic reasons, influential personalities defended such norms to postpone for decades the end of the shameful chain of forced labor. Among the arguments was that, after manumission, the enslaved would become unemployed, which would be worse for him, as he could not guarantee the housing and food they received.

Bale, obviously. If the bosses needed manpower, let them pay for it. The effects of this postponement tarnish our past and disrupt our present.

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Now we are under new pressure to solve a chronic problem. And history shows that it is better to act on the root of the issue than to make new theaters.

At the end of last year, the European Parliament approved the proposal that prevents the entry into the European Union of products that may be linked to deforestation that occurred from December 2019.

The initial list of monitored items directly affects Brazilian exports: beef, soy, coffee, cocoa, palm oil and wood. In addition, your products, such as paper, chocolates, furniture, etc., are also in the crosshairs.

Attention to detail: it does not matter if the deforestation in question is considered legal or illegal in their countries of origin. The simple connection of exported products with felling of native forest already makes them vetoed by the new rule. There is no point in changing the law here, or granting amnesty to deforesters. The lock will be the same.

In her inauguration speech on the 4th, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Marina Silva, announced the creation of an Extraordinary Secretariat for the Control of Deforestation and Territorial Ordering. And he guaranteed that he will act to combat deforestation and promote a strong economy based on the conservation of our biodiversity.

Sending such a signal to the Europeans, precisely in this change of government, is essential. But it is necessary to remember that today, with the abundance of information in the digital media, we have due diligence systems (prior due diligence), much deeper and faster than at the time when the approval of the Sexagenarian Law guaranteed us survival in the good graces of British Crown.

Today, the “English” can learn everything they want, at the speed of a click.

For investors, it is essential to increase their level of demand in relation to the companies in which they invest. With this, it is possible to protect yourself from surprises with a blockade or a legal impediment of the company in the European Union. When a market is lost, it is usually soon occupied by a competitor.

The beginning of the year is a good time to assess, with the disclosure of the balance sheets for 2022, the risks and attitudes that companies are taking to adapt to the new global requirement.

We cannot rely on speeches and actions of environmentalism “for the European to see” if we want to maintain good results such as agribusiness exports, which recorded a 32% increase in 2022, reaching the figure of US$ 159.09 billion.

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