07 Sep 2022, 09:40
  • Milou
    Milou Dirkx is Journalism Network Manager at Clean Energy Wire. She is the first point of contact for the members of the CLEW Journalism Network, and develops events and other opportunities for climate and energy reporters to engage.

The Brazil elections: Covering the climate and energy angle

On 2 October Brazilians will vote to elect a new president, with the potential for a second round at the end of the month in the case that no candidate receives a majority vote. Polls currently favour former president Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva against the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. Brazil is the world's sixth largest greenhouse gas emitter - how will this election outcome influence the future protection of the Amazon rainforest, the privatisation of the energy sector, and the future of Brazilian climate action and environmental policies? There will be plenty of important stories to report on, and so we have asked our global CLEW network for input. With their support, we have put together a journalism guide for international reporters who want to cover the Brazilian elections from a climate and energy angle. Check out the guide, including information on expert organisations, relevant resources and a reading list for further insights.

Our network members and contacts Irene Baños Ruiz, Laís Clemente, Marcel Gomes, Fermín Koop, Lisa Kuner, Eduardo Militão and Sofia Moutinho contributed to this guide.

For this project we have collected contact data from freelance journalists covering the Brazilian elections. If you are an editor and seeking to hire a freelancer to cover the elections and/or the aftermath, please get in touch with Milou Dirkx via milou.dirkx@cleanenergywire.org

Please find a PDF version of the journalism guide in English here and in Spanish here.

Expert organisations

Plataforma CIPÓ

Website: https://plataformacipo.org/en/ [available in English and Portuguese]

Contact: contato@plataformacipo.org

Plataforma CIPÓ is an independent, women-led policy institute focusing on climate, governance, and peacebuilding in Latin America and the Caribbean and, more generally, the Global South. CIPÓ works to support local and national governments, international organisations, civil society entities and private sector actors in developing effective responses as they face the emerging challenges of the Anthropocene.

Clean Energy Latin America (CELA)

Website: https://www.cela.com.br/ [available in English and Portuguese]

Contact: info@cela.com.br /+55 11 3568-2807

CELA – Clean Energy Latin America is a São Paulo-based financial advisory and consulting firm supporting renewable energy companies and investors in Latin America in the energy transition. It specialises in renewable energy, including wind, solar PV, energy storage and green hydrogen.

The E+ Energy Transition Institute/Instituto E+ Transição Energética

Website: https://emaisenergia.org/en/ [available in English and Portuguese]

Contact: comunicacao@emaisenergia.org

The E+ Energy Transition Institute is a Brazilian independent think tank that promotes broad dialogue to promote the energy transition as a driver for low-carbon economic growth. Focused on evidence-based debates, the E+ Institute works with a multidisciplinary team, produces knowledge and studies on technological, social, and economic solutions for an effective and efficient energy transition. Its expertise includes energy transition regulation, institutional and financial arrangements and the decarbonisation of Brazilian industry.

Instituto Socioambiental

Website: http://www.socioambiental.org/ [in Portuguese]

Contact: impresa@socioambiental.org

Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) is an NGO working side by side with indigenous, quilombola and extractive communities in Brazil. The organization has local teams and has worked long-term at the Vale do Ribeira, in São Paulo, Rio Negro basin (Amazonas and Roraima states) and Xingu basin (Mato Grosso and Pará state), with a presence in four states of the Brazilian Amazon. ISA closely monitors public policy proposals and decision-making that may directly impact indigenous peoples, traditional populations, their territories and collective rights. Moreover, the organisation monitors Indigenous Lands and Conservation Units throughout the Amazon and Brazil, following the processes of demarcation and creation of protected areas and threats, such as deforestation, infrastructure works, fires, mining and land grabbing (the so-called "grilagem").

Observatório do Clima (OC)/The Brazilian Climate Observatory

Website: https://www.oc.eco.br/en/ [available in English and Portuguese]

Contacts: Solange A. Barreir, solange@pbcomunica.com.br /+ 55 1198108-7272
and Claudio Angelo, claudio@oc.eco.br+ 55 6199825-4783

The Brazilian Climate Observatory was founded in 2002. It is the main Brazilian civil society network on the climate agenda, with 78 member organisations, including environmental NGOs, research institutes and social movements. Its goal is to help build a decarbonised, egalitarian, prosperous and sustainable Brazil, in the fight against the climate crisis.

Rainforest Foundation U.S.

Website: https://rainforestfoundation.org/ [in English]

Contact: Christine Halverson, christineh@rffny.org

The Rainforest Foundation is the biggest NGO working on rights-based forest protection worldwide. The Foundation is composed of three national organisations, with Rainforest Foundation U.S. working mostly in Central and South America. Christine Halverson (contact details above) is the organisation’s expert on the history of the struggle of Brazilian indigenous groups and current political trends.


Data visualisation: Mapping Environment Crime in the Amazon by the Igarapé Institute

Website: https://ecocrime.igarape.org.br/[available in English and Portuguese]

Contact: press@igarape.org.br

The data visualisation platform draws on opensource data to highlight a range of illegal threats to the Amazon Basin. While illegal burning has dominated global headlines, a host of less visible but equally troubling environmental crimes are being committed throughout the Amazon basin every day. Such crimes not only impact biodiversity and the global climate, but are virtually always associated with social ills ranging from corruption to slavery and violence. Launched in 2021, the data visualization is regularly updated with new stories developed in partnership with InSight Crime and datasets from a number of respected organisations.

Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovações (MCTI): Brazilian Science and Technology Ministry

Website: https://www.gov.br/mcti/pt-br/acompanhe-o-mcti/sirene [in Portuguese]

The Brazilian Science and Technology Ministry releases the official reports on greenhouse gas emissions in the country. The data can be filtered by sector and dates.

SEEG: The Greenhouse Gas Emission and Removal Estimating System

Website: http://seeg.eco.br/en#

Contacts: Solange A. Barreir, solange@pbcomunica.com.br /+ 55 1198108-7272
and Claudio Angelo, claudio@oc.eco.br+ 55 6199825-4783

Since 2013, Observatório do Clima has published SEEG, the annual estimate of greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil. SEEG was the first national initiative to produce annual estimates for the entire economy. It is one of the largest national databases on greenhouse gas emissions, comprising Brazilian emissions from five sectors - Agriculture, Energy, Land-use Change, Industrial Processes and Waste - since 1970. Estimates are generated according to IPCC guidelines.

Sustainable Cities Development Index - Brazil (SCDI-BR)

Website: https://idsc.cidadessustentaveis.org.br/  [in Portuguese, translation available]

Contact: Ana Candida, ana@cidadessustentaveis.org.br

Launched in March 2021 by the Sustainable Cities Institute (SCI) in partnership with the Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN), the Sustainable Cities Development Index - Brazil (SCDI-BR) is a tool to stimulate and monitor Brazilian cities for the compliance in the SDGs implementation. Formulated based on 100 indicators, the SCDI-BR presents a progress and challenges ranking of all Brazilian municipalities for the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda, within each of the 17 SDGs and also as a whole.

Terrabrasilis by INPE, the National Institute for Space Research

Website:http://terrabrasilis.dpi.inpe.br/en/home-page/[available in English and Portuguese]

The National Institute for Space Research releases the official reports on deforestation and forest fires in Brazil through their two satellite-based programmes: Prodes (for long-term data) and Deter (for near real-time data).

Reading list

In the Amazon, Bolsonaro’s far right may retain power even if Lula wins [26/09/2022]
By Jaqueline Sordi for Mongabay

Brazil environmentalist Silva all-in with Lula against Bolsonaro [24/09/2022]
By Flavia Marreiro for Reuters

Analysis: Bolsonaro election loss could cut Brazilian Amazon deforestation by 89% [23/09/2022]
By Josh Gabbatiss for Carbon Brief

What Could Brazil’s Post-Bolsonaro Climate Policy Look Like? [16/09/2022]
By Catherine Osborn for Foreign Policy

Large parts of Amazon may never recover, major study says [05/09/2022]
By Andrew Downie for  The Guardian

Brazil election: Lula challenges Bolsonaro’s deforestation record, backs oil development [18/08/2022]
By Sebastian Rodriguez for Climate Home News

Amazon deforestation on pace to roughly match last year’s rate of loss [12/08/2022]
By Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay

Cercados pelo dendê, povos tradicionais vivem terror em disputa fundiária com produtora de biodiesel [08/08/2022]
By Isabel Harari and Hélen Freita for Repórter Brasil

Problematic or perilous: Brazil's environmental choice [07/08/2022]
By Fabiano Maisonnave and Diane Jeantet for AP News

Getting in the room: The young women at the forefront of the battle for democracy and environmental justice in Brazil [02/08/2022]
By Marina Marinez for Unbias the News

Mobilizing Investment for Clean Energy in Brazil: Country Deep Dive [July 2022]
By the World Economic Forum

What to Know About Bolsonaro-Lula Showdown in Brazil [29/07/2022]
By Simone Preissler Iglesias for Bloomberg

Lula Starts Campaign With Offensive to Charm Brazil Agribusiness [29/07/2022]
By Daniel Carvalho and Simone Preissler Iglesias for Bloomberg

What Do Privatization Efforts in the Energy Sector Mean for Brazil? [25/07/2022]
An interview with Dr. Mark Langevin for the Inter-American Dialogue

Brazil’s new deforestation data board sparks fear of censorship of forest loss, fires [22/07/2022]
By Sarah Brown for Mongabay

Lula Mulls Appointing a Brazil Climate Czar If Elected President [05/07/2022]
By Simone Preissler Iglesias for Bloomberg

Brazil's Bolsonaro appears to be taking a tougher stance on protecting the environment. Critics say it's just lip service
By Rodrigo Pedroso and Marcia Reverdosa for CNN

How the Brazilian elections could determine the future of the Amazon [26/05/2022]
By Lázaro Thor Borges for Diálogo Chino

Implications of the Russian War in Ukraine on Latin America’s Energy Sector [27/04/2022]
By Dr. Mauricio Cárdenas, Juan Carlos Jobet, Dr. Luisa Palacios and Diego Rivera Rivota by the Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University

Brazil's Lula promises indigenous tribes he will reverse Bolsonaro measures [12/04/2022]
By Anthony Boadle for Reuters

Brazilian youth fight to decolonize climate justice [09/03/2022]
By Anna Beatriz Anjos for Agência Pública

Canadian miners get high-level lobbying boost for Brazilian Amazon projects [21/02/2022]
By Caio de Freitas Paes for Agência Pública

Lessons from Brazil on how to better cover the environment and the climate crisis [20/09/2021]
By Adele Machado Santelli for The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
Article is a summary of the report: Journalist Fellowship Paper: Lessons in environmental news reporting from Brazil

U.S. and Argentine investors tied to illegal land deals and deforestation in Brazil [26/05/2021]
By Caio de Freitas Paes for Agência Pública

Deforestation in Brazil: It’s not just the Amazon [19/08/2020]
By Adriana Erthal Abdenur for Climate Diplomacy

Journalism for the energy transition

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