When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!
Economy

Brazil Forces Airline To Atone For Its Environmental Sins – By Planting Trees

A recent court decision will force Gol, a Brazilian carrier, to plant trees around its hub in Guarulhos. The ruling stems from a suit filed by the city government in Guarulhos, which is choked by pollution from the adjacent Sao Paulo airport, Latin Americ

The Sao Paulo international aiport in Guarulhos, Brazil
The Sao Paulo international aiport in Guarulhos, Brazil

Worldcrunch *NEWSBITES

AmericaEconomia

An airplane's smoke tail can be poetic... and controversial. The carbon dioxide pollution caused by flights has led to a totally unexpected decision from a court in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo. Gol, a Brazilian airline, will be required to reforest an area around the Sao Paulo airport in Guarulhos, the largest airport in all of Latin America.

Everything started with a civil action suit brought by the municipal government of Guarulhos, a city of over 1 million located 22 kilometers from Sao Paulo. The suit targeted 42 different airlines – both Brazilian and international carriers – that operate at the airport. Their efforts rebuffed by a lower court, the plaintiffs next brought the suit to the Environmental Court of the State of Sao Paulo, which reversed the lower court's decision with respect to Gol.

The municipal government says it tried to negotiate with the companies before bringing the suit, and offered them several options: finance a municipal investment fund to invest in clean technology, restore environmentally damaged areas of the city, or establish public forests. But the companies balked, rejecting all three choices and refusing to sign any agreement.

A victory for the government in Guarulhos, the ruling is nevertheless largely symbolic – at least in terms of its overall effect on carbon dioxide pollution. A trip from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro and back emits 34.5 tons of carbon dioxide. That translates to roughly 14.4 million tons that the planes using the Guarulhos airport emit annually. To compensate, Gol would have to plant a forest that is approximately 55 times larger than all of Guarulhos.

Read more from AmericaEconomia in Spanish

Photo - Alex Portes Design

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Geopolitics

Olaf Scholz: Trying To Crack The Code Of Germany's Enigmatic Chancellor

Olaf Scholz took over for Angela Merkel a year ago, but for many he remains a mysterious figure through a series of tumultuous events, including his wavering on the war in Ukraine.

man boarding a plane

Olaf Scholz boading an Air Force Special Air Mission Wing plane, on his way to the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Tirana.

Michael Kappeler / dpa via ZUMA Press
Peter Huth

-Analysis-

BERLIN — When I told my wife that I was planning to write an article about “a year of Scholz,” she said, “Who’s that?” To be fair, she misheard me, and over the last 12 months the German Chancellor has mainly been referred to by his first name, Olaf.

Still, it’s a reasonable question. Who is Olaf Scholz, really? Or perhaps we should ask: how many versions of Olaf Scholz are there? A year after taking over from Angela Merkel, we still don’t know.

Chancellors from Germany’s Social Democrat Party (SPD) have always been easy to characterize. First there was Willy Brandt – he suffered from depression and had an intriguing private life. His affected public speaking style is still the gold standard for anyone who wants to get ahead in the center-left party. Then came Helmut Schmidt. He lived off his reputation for handling any crisis, smoked like a chimney and eventually won over the public.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest