(Bloomberg) -- Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would likely appoint a special envoy for climate to help rebuild Brazil’s environmental image abroad if elected for a new term in October, according to two people working on his campaign.
The envoy, in a position akin to that of John Kerry in the US, would have the authority to set bolder environmental targets for Brazil while negotiating with the US and the European Union under the Paris and the Glasgow agreements, the people said, asking for anonymity to talk about ongoing discussions in Lula’s campaign.
Two former government officials are seen as front-runners for the possible role: Senator Jaques Wagner, who served as chief of staff of Lula’s successor Dilma Rousseff, and Celso Amorim, Lula’s foreign affairs minister during his eight years in power.
The candidate’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Restoring the country’s green credentials is one of Lula’s key promises if elected, particularly as the pace of Amazon deforestation increased under the administration of Jair Bolsonaro, triggering international criticism of the South American government. Forest blazes that caused global outrage in 2019 are again grabbing headlines, with June recording the largest number of fire outbreaks in 15 years, according to data from Brazil’s Spacial Research Institute.
Read More: Amazon, Petrobras, Fiscal Law: Lula Sets Priorities If Elected
Lula has been widening his lead over Bolsonaro in polls published in the last few days, with a PoderData survey conducted June 19-21 showing the former president 17 percentage points ahead of the incumbent in a possible second round. Brazilians will vote on general elections on Oct. 2 and, if no presidential candidate receives more than 50% of valid votes then, will return for a runoff on Oct. 30.
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