As Brazilians head to the polls in October 2022, there is the chance to either oust or re-elect President Jair Bolsonaro, a divisive figure that some have likened to a ‘tropical Trump’. Critics claim he is much worse. Whichever the outcome, there are important lessons the international community might draw from the past four years of the Bolsonaro administration in these times of climate breakdown. Not the least because global markets have connived and partaken in the plunder, even as the world allegedly unites in pursuing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

In a recent article , we analysed how the Bolsonaro administration has dealt with environmental sustainability. Brazil had reduced Amazon deforestation by 70% between 2004 and 2014, but yet again, it has spiked, reaching high levels not seen in more than 20 years. Indigenous peoples and other traditional communities have endured the most from what may seem like a hands-off policy. Since 2018, the year before Bolsonaro took office, invasions of Indigenous territories have tripled,  usually for illegal logging or wildcat gold mining.