The headquarters of BNDES, Brazil’s National Social and Economic Development Bank which provided US$3.8 billion to forest-risk companies from 2016-2020, according to a recent report. Image courtesy of BNDES. “Environmentalist psychosis”: Those are the words used by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in June 2019 to describe the world’s growing concern over his nation’s escalating devastation of the Amazon rainforest. He coined the derisive phrase during the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, as he celebrated the clinching of the US$19 trillion trade agreement — the world’s biggest ever — between Mercosur, the South American trade bloc and the European Union. Not perhaps the most diplomatic of pronouncements, given the parties involved. Sixteen months later, far from being signed, the Mercosur-EU agreement has turned sour. A key reason: Europeans’ deep concern over rapidly escalating Amazon deforestation, which they fear threatens the survival of industrial civilization. With Amazon forest clearance rampant, and fires at their highest level on record, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are in no mood to be associated with one of the world’s leading environmental despoilers. France and other EU nations have signalled their willingness to scuttle the trade deal, rejecting ratification for now. Public declarations from international institutional investors, and expressions of mounting concern from Brazilian business groups, as well as past finance ministers and Central Bank presidents are all adding to the outrage over Amazon destruction. But, all this criticism is apparently falling on deaf ears in Brasilia. However, amid all the finger pointing at Bolsonaro, one…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer