A group of climate lawyers called Tuesday for the International Criminal Court to launch an investigation into Brazil’s president for possible crimes against humanity over his administration’s Amazon policies.
The AllRise group filed a dossier with the global court alleging that Jair Bolsonaro’s administration is responsible for a “widespread attack on the Amazon, its dependants and its defenders” that affects the global population.
The call comes less than three weeks before the United Nations’ 26th Climate Change Conference of the Parties, known as the COP26, starts on Oct. 31 in Glasgow.
The 12-day summit aims to secure more ambitious commitments to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius with a goal of keeping it to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels. The event also is focused on mobilizing financing to fight climate change and protecting vulnerable communities and natural habitats.
Since taking office, Bolsonaro has encouraged development within the Amazon and dismissed global complaints about its destruction as a plot to hold back Brazil’s agribusiness. His administration also weakened environmental authorities and backed legislative measures to loosen land protections, emboldening land grabbers.