Who’s who in Lula’s new government?
Brazil’s government is presided over for a third time by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from the worker’s party (PT). Geraldo Alckimin from the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) holds the vice-presidential position and is the Minister of Industry and Commerce.
The executive team holds 37 ministerial portfolios:
- 33 ministries,
- 3 secretariats, and
- 4 agencies
Swift government action in turbulent first days
The newly elected government has already showcased its pragmatic style with which it seeks to govern. After the January 8 insurgence which affected the country’s three major powers — the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary — the government swiftly continued to produce proposals.
Ministry of Finance:
It only took a few days (on January 12) for The Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad (PT), to announce the first economic package worth R$ 242.7 billion. The package foresees fiscal management, civil default, and tax restraint resolution.
Ministry of Mines & Energy:
The Minister of Mines and Energy, Alexandre Silveira de Oliveira, formalized the nomination of Jean Paul Prates to head up Petrobras. Since his appointment, he has made statements that fuel prices need to be set by the government and be less dependent on prices prevailing in the rest of the world.
Ministry of Indigenous Peoples:
The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples was created for the first time in order to highlight the voice of the indigenous peoples in decisions affecting such communities. Sonia Guajajara from the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSol) leads this new Ministry and has already paved the way for several key decisions to be made, like revoking the decree that allowed extractions in indigenous lands and the reinstatement of the Amazon Fund to collect donations from international stakeholders seeking to assist in combating deforestation in the Amazon.
Ministry of Environment:
In the scope of environmentalist actions, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Marina Silva (Rede), will be one of the first voices to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos - Switzerland. The leaders will first discuss how economies will fight climate change. Marina, who was also present at COP27, will seek resources and funding for international collaboration to preserve and conserve natural resources. She determined that the Brazilian Forest Service would be managed by her Ministry. Under the Bolsonaro government, it fell under the Ministry of Agriculture. This hints at a strong move towards strengthening land regulation in favor of deforestation plans and the environment at large.
International stakeholders are responding optimistically, showing clear signs that a firm multi-stakeholder coalition is being taken to protect Amazon:
- The government of Norway announced grants of $500 million to combat deforestation
- The government of Germany announced grants of another $37 million.
Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock:
Aligned with environmental demands, Carlos Fávaro, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, highlighted that the commitment and responsibility of the country’s agriculture will be to ensure food security and environmental resources in Brazil and the world. He also recalled that his challenge is to strengthen ties with the international community, mainly with China, the European Union, Latin America, and the United States. Its objective is to open the accreditation of cold storage plants and expansion of commercial networks, both for the purchase of inputs and for the sale of production.
Everything indicates that international relations will be very much guided by the Lula government’s environmental agenda, and dialogue with the measures taken on January 1st, inauguration day.
- Suspension of new registrations of firearms and ammunition for hunters, shooters, and collectors (CACs) and the suspension of new shooting clubs. Deforestation prevention
- Protective measures for all Brazilian biomes.
- Inclusion of People with Disabilities; a project that guarantees the inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in education.
- CONAMA - requires the Ministry of the Environment to issue new regulations for the National Council on the Environment within 45 days.
- Guaranteed payment of R$ 600 from Auxílio Brasil, renamed Bolsa Família.
- Extension of exemptions on fuel taxes.
- Pro-recyclers Program - Project for incentives to collectors and cooperatives of recyclable materials.