Brazil

Jair Bolsonaro's report card on corruption and the environment

Deforestation in the Western Amazon. Photo: Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images

When Jair Bolsonaro was elected Brazil's president 9 months ago yesterday, there were high hopes he'd clean up corruption and revitalize the economy — and fears he'd endanger the environment and further divide the country.

So how's he doing?

Brazil has lost 1,330 square miles of Amazon rainforest under Bolsonaro

Bolsonaro sitting down and looking to the side.
Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images

Brazil's Amazon rainforest is facing rapid deforestation under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The Amazon, the largest and most biodiverse rainforest on the planet, plays an essential part in slowing global warming. The seas of greenery absorb and store carbon dioxide, preventing the gas from overwhelming our atmosphere. But when trees are plowed, carbon has nowhere to go, risking further increases in global temperatures.