Rodrigo Agostinho is quoted to assume presidency of Ibama

BRASILIA — Federal Deputy Rodrigo Augustine (PSB/SP), which has acted in favor of environmental guidelines during its term in the Chamber in recent years, should be chosen later this week to head Ibama.

The selection is up to Marina Silva, Minister of the Environment and Climate, who wants to announce the composition of the teams of federal agencies and authorities before her trip to Davos, Switzerland — where she will participate in the World Economic Forum, next week.

According to President Lula’s determination, the reformulation of ministries needs to be finalized by January 24th.

Agostinho, whose term as deputy ends at the end of January (he was not re-elected), has already been informed that his name should appear in the Official Gazette by next week.

A question that still lingers is whether or not Marina will wait until January 31, when her mandate officially ends. If that happens, the minister could put a career civil servant at the head of Ibama on an interim basis.

Another possibility discussed is for Agostinho to assume a secretariat in the ministry.

The leadership of Ibama is one of the main positions in the second echelon of MMA. The body has been without command since the end of the mandate of Eduardo Bim — whose management was marked by controversy and alignment with the former minister Ricardo Salles.

The agency will be responsible for continuing the licensing of the Equatorial Margin, the main new oil exploration frontier on the sector’s radar, including Petrobras. Includes projects in mouth of amazonwhich over the past few years has been gradually taken over by the company.

Member of the transition and opposition to Bolsonaro

Agostinho has participated almost daily in meetings with the portfolio team since Marina took office as minister, on January 4th.

The deputy is seen as an adviser on environmental legislation and on measures adopted in the last government, which should be revoked or changed in the first months of this year.

  • Immediately after taking office, Lula (PT) reestablished governance to reactivate the Amazon Fund, resume the participation of entities in the council of the National Environmental Fund and determined the review of this same issue in Conama, in 45 days.
  • In addition, it revoked a program to stimulate gold mining (“artisan mining”), which according to environmentalists would weaken the fight against illegalities. Other measures are on the folder’s agenda for the first 100 days.

In addition to the parliamentary history linked to the environmental cause, Agostinho’s favor is the fact that he was part of the Environment group during the government transition period, at the end of last year.

He also chaired the Chamber’s Environment and Development Commission and the Environmentalist Parliamentary Front during his term and faced issues permeated by disagreements regarding the policies of the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government.

He participated in discussions of key projects for industry and infrastructure, such as the carbon market framework, for which he was quoted to assume the role of rapporteur.

The text proposed by Marcelo Ramos (PSD/AM) ended with deputy Carla Zambelli (PSL/SP) through an articulation of the Bolsonaro government (PL), which ensured the presidency of the Environment commission for a deputy aligned with the Planalto, in 2022.

Agostinho participated in the debates on the General Environmental Licensing Law project.

At the head of the environmentalist group, he worked on the presentation of a package of proposals for a sustainable tax reform, which includes the veto of tax incentives for intensely polluting activities and the reformulation of the CIDE, creating a regulatory tax to stimulate the decarbonization of the fuel market.

The themes did not advance in the Bolsonaro government, but some are on the agenda of the National Confederation of Industry (CNI), delivered to the vice president and minister of Industry and Commerce, Geraldo Alckmin.

Among the 18 bills and MPs considered a priority for the sector, the document (.pdf) highlights PL 2148/2015, on the regulation of the carbon market; and PL 2159/2021, on the environmental licensing reform.

Other CNI guidelines are:

  • Tax reform, with PEC 110/2019, of Dual VAT;
  • Modernization of the electricity sector (PL 414/2021), with emphasis on expanding the free energy market “in a balanced way” and reducing subsidies;
  • PL 5518/2020, for forestry concessions;
  • PL 576/2021, the offshore wind framework;
  • MPV 1152/2022, of transfer prices.

Molon at ICM-Bio

Another nomination awaited for the second echelon of the Ministry of the Environment is that of federal deputy Alessandro Molon (PSB/RJ), which leads the party in the state, to head ICMBio (Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation).

Defeated in the race for the Senate, his mandate also ended at the end of January, leaving the way clear for a joint effort with his co-religionist to carry out environmental protection policies, announced as a priority by President Lula.

Leave a Comment