Brazil has been a major figure in global climate politics since it hosted the 1992 Rio conference where the first international climate action agreement was signed. Recently, its rising emissions and alliance with other emerging powers in the negotiations have helped to make it even more central. In this chapter, we argue that Brazil’s domestic climate politics is central to its participation in international climate negotiations. We show how a multi-faceted coalition of ‘Baptists and bootleggers’ grew inside Brazil through the 2000s, resulting in significant new acceptance of climate action at the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010. Brazil passed a national climate law and made its first international pledge to reduce emissions at the time of the international negotiations in Copenhagen. Since then, however, the coalition has fragmented, and Brazil has retreated. The national climate law is being implemented only partially and very slowly, as emissions have ticked up. This does not mean that Brazilian climate positions are exactly back to where they were a decade ago, but they show that gains in climate action cannot be assumed to be linear and locked-in.
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