Brazil election: Lula win hailed as victory for the Amazon

Luke Taylor in New Scientist:

Defenders of the Amazon rainforest were overwhelmed with relief on 30 October as Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva narrowly secured Brazil’s presidency.

Lula, who was president from 2003 to 2010, beat incumbent Jair Bolsonaro by just 1.8 per cent of votes in the divisive presidential election.

The tight victory could save the Amazon just as it has reached a crucial tipping point, say Brazilian environmentalists.

“During the past four years, the Amazon has been threatened, attacked and destroyed as the government openly promoted environmental crimes,” says Erika Berenguer at the University of Oxford, who was in tears as she spoke to New Scientist. “It was like having to silence a scream inside you every day as you watched the object of your life, your career and passion destroyed. Lula’s election is a victory not only for the region, but for humanity and life itself.”

More here.