The election of Luis Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil may have been the single biggest event to reshape the course of global warming on the planet in 2022.
Setting aside the international negotiations slated for later in November in Egypt, and the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States, the defeat of Brazil's would-be autocrat Jair Bolsonaro could dramatically reduce deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
Under Bolsonaro the deforestation of the Amazon skyrocketed. And the precipitous rise in the destruction of the rainforest is entirely due to the former President's policies.
"Brazil achieved a huge reduction in deforestation in the Amazon by deploying a suite of proven policy and market interventions, but now we’re witnessing a heartbreaking unraveling of that success: The Brazilian Amazon experienced a 15% increase in primary forest loss in 2020 compared to 2019," wrote Frances Seymour in a post for the World Resources Institute. "The policies and rhetoric of the Bolsonaro administration have crippled environmental agencies and law enforcement, encouraged land-grabbing, and put indigenous territories at risk."
While Bolsonaro has yet to concede in the election, his supporters have acknowledged da Silva's victory.
A left-wing politician who had previously served as Brazil's President before his arrest on corruption charges, da Silva was responsible for a series of environmental laws aimed at preserving the Amazon rainforest and protecting the rights of the indigenous people living there.
During the campaign Lula proposed to protect half a million square kilometers of Amazon rainforest, end deforestation in the Amazon, subsidize sustainable farming, and offer tax incentives to create opportunities for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the country.