Brazil will hold its elections on Oct. 30 with incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro hoping to stay in power.

Like most candidates, Bolsonaro is expected to touch on all matters concerning the country. However, one of them involves a very sensitive matter, the environment.

Climate and environmental policies play a key role in any electoral campaign. It has been a growing concern so it comes as no surprise that Bolsonaro is tackling it.

However, he may have his work cut out for him considering he has not held a smooth relationship with environmentalists. This calls to mind the assassination of people like Bruno Araujo Pereira and Dom Phillips. There are allegedly more cases of murders against environmental leaders, a reason why Brazil has been branded as one of the most dangerous places for environmentalists.

Aside from that, Bolsonaro has not exactly had a good showing as far as deforestation, something that has gotten worse since 2006. This year was reportedly catastrophic.

Fast-forward to the present, the situation has not changed. Bolsonar has been hit for allegedly encouraging illegal logging and mining, something that has annulled the protection of indigenous land rights. He has reportedly also attacked conservation groups, and dismantled and cut budgets and resources of forest and indigenous protection agencies.

It remains to be seen if Bolsonaro will be able to gain from tackling environmental issues. He does have history and perhaps touching on it may or may not be good.

But the fact remains that Brazil needs to address the issue. Brazil's Supreme Federal Court ruled in July that the government should resume allocating resources to the Climate Fund, which had been paralyzed by the government.

With the right use, Brazil could be a potential leader in sustainable energy. In fact, it already accounts for 10% of global employment in renewable energy. However, a greater commitment is required to guide this South American giant towards sustainability and protection of the world's lungs.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro
Representation image. Photo by Douglas Magno/AFP via Getty Images

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