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During a panel with German Parliament Representative Klaus Mindrup, Congressman Alessandro Molon states that the global crisis could pave the way for a transition to a green economy.

Instituto Clima e Sociedade (iCS) and the German Embassy, in a partnership with the Political Action for Sustainability Network (RAPS), promoted last Wednesday, October 14, the panel The Legislative Branch's Role in the Green Economic Recovery, in the 14th edition of its Dialogues series.The conversation held online brought together Alessandro Molon, lawyer, professor and current federal representative for Rio de Janeiro from the PSB political party; and Klaus Mindrup, German federal representative from the Social Democratic Party.They discussed the urgency of government and civil society actions towards a green recovery. The complete panel, which was mediated by Monica Sodré, Executive Director of RAPS (Political Action for Sustainability Network) is available for viewing on the institute's YouTube channel or on the link

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For Molon, the global crisis generated by the Covid-19 pandemic paves the way for what seemed impossible a year ago." At this moment, when everything seems out of place and with the world economy in disarray, I find it easier, however paradoxical it may sound, to think about a transition toward a green economy. Whether due to internal pressure from the Brazilian population and Parliament, or to external issues, the government will have to change its conduct. However, as this is (a government) that resists this agenda, it will be up to Parliament to take on this leaing role,” concluded the PSB representative.

“If Brazil manages to save itself, it will save the planet. We must not waste this potential. And we have a lot to learn from Germany.”

Alessandro Molon

Federal Representative for Rio de Janeiro from the PSB

According to Mindrup, in Germany, climate protection is a major focus of the current government. “For the first time, we felt the dramatic effects of climate change, with a very dry and hot summer and problems with forest fires, which do not happen typically. Several measures have been taken in the country, such as the new law on climate protection, which sets objectives for each different segment of the economy.”


In Brazil, the situation is different, as Monica Sodré pointed out.

“At the federal level, unfortunately, the environmental issue has not been a priority. This can be seen in the Budget Law Bill, which proposes cuts in the Environment Ministry's budget. We will only achieve harmony between the social, environmental and economic dimensions if we have political agents strongly committed to this challenge.”

Monica Sodré

Executive Director of RAPS

There is a consensus among the speakers that, in order to implement measures for a green recovery, it is necessary to have an efficient intersectoral organization between the public and private segments, civil society and trade unions.

“We formed a working group that looks into the interdisciplinary aspect of the climate issue, as it is not simply an ecological problem. There are social, housing, and industrial factors, among others."

Klaus Mindrup

German Federal Representative from the PSD

According to the federal representative from Rio, the solution is evident, but it is being overlooked by a large part of the government. “The tax reform is an important opportunity to reduce inequalities and to foster an economy that does not destroy the environment. It must be based on three pillars: first, simplification, because our tax system is extremely complex. Second, taxes must be progressive, that is, those who make more money must pay more, and those who make less money, must pay less. In Brazil, the greatest tax burden, proportionately, is on the poorest and the middle classes. The third pillar is the environment, a green tax reform, which discourages the most polluting activities and encourages cleaner ones.”


Industry is one of the priority areas for attention. “Brazil has all it takes to be a leading country in the green transition because of its great environmental potential. We must think about a reindustrialization process and ways to make our standing forest more valuable than the felled forest. One which integrates different economic solutions with the science and technology of Brazil's traditional peoples. The most advanced industries in the country are researching what indigenous communities have known for centuries, how to transform this knowledge into an industrial potential for the creation of new products,” said Molon.


Mindrup mentioned the influence  of the international youth movement in the German parliament, demanding measures to prevent climate change. “We have Fridays for Future, with a very strong base. This movement puts great pressure on the German government.”


“Changing your behavior as a consumer helps. As society changes its demands, it also changes that which is expected, both from the market and from politicians. When society matures and creates new patterns of consumption, new behaviors and new demands from industry, market and politics, it also helps the government to change its own parameters,” stated Molon.


The discussion also focused on how the dissemination of fake news additionally contribute to a difficulty in advancing on environmental issues. “There is nothing as damaging for the future of democracy as disinformation. As for the fires in the Pantanal region, our minister spreads fake information. It is very challenging to face this theme, or any other, if we do not start from a minimal common ground, based on reality, with effective data,” analyzed Molon. “Legislating about fake news is not an easy task here in Brazil, where there is a fine line between what is considered freedom of expression and what is a distortion of reality. ”Klaus points out that social networks are heavily used by right-wing populists. "There is a worldwide network formed by these politicians, alleged scientific institutes, and evangelical churches that are trying to put humanist values at risk. They deny climate change, as well as the pandemic. We are very concerned and taking up the fight against fake news."



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