Brazil's congress building, where legislators voted to shelve corruption charges against President Michel Temer
Brazil’s President has issued an executive order
revoking 60% of outstanding environmental fines imposed on ranchers and
agribusiness for illegally clearing forest on their land.
The cancelled fines are worth $1.5 billion, according to the
Brazilian Environment Institute. The discount will apply on the condition that
firms reinvest the same amount into conservation projects.
President Michel Temer defended the move as intended to
attract foreign investment. But opponents accused him of once again capitulating to
the interests of Brazilian agribusiness, represented in the lower house of
Brazil’s congress by a block of 200 legislators known as the bancada
Temer issued the order a few days before the lower house
voted to shelve corruption charges against him on 25 October.