RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said Sunday the far-right government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is demonstrating its commitment to the fight against climate change by promoting nuclear energy.
Bolsonaro, a climate skeptic, has been criticized internationally for pledging to open the vital Amazon rainforest to development and agribusiness, and make major changes to the South American country’s environmental policy.
On Sunday, Bolsonaro got some rare environmental support during a visit by a U.S. delegation to discuss collaboration on nuclear power among other things.
“I think the commitment of Brazil (to fight climate change) has been demonstrated by these conversations around nuclear energy,” Brouillette said in an interview with local and international media.
On Monday, Brazil’s Eletronuclear will sign a letter of intent with U.S.-based Westinghouse to extend the life of the Angra I nuclear power plant near Rio de Janeiro.
“We’ve demonstrated through the use of a very diverse energy policy that you can grow your economy and reduce carbon emission at the very same time,” said the U.S. energy secretary. “That is something that I think Brazil is interested in doing as well.”