Abstract

In August 2019, an oil spill incident washed the coast in Brazil affecting some of the country’s most visited and preserved beaches in Northeast and Southeast. This paper argues that the influence of power disconnects delayed the proper actions. Power disconnects occur when the victims of environmental harm (residents of northeastern and southeastern Brazil) lack power to prevent it or, conversely, when those who do have the power to protect the environment (the Brazilian government and the international community) do not experience the costs of degradation. Although Brazil has emerged as an environmental leader in the international arena in the past, it has fallen behind on the improvements that are needed to prevent spills like this from affecting coastal communities and biodiversity in the future. Ultimately, as long as political injustices persist, ecological disasters will continue, and Governance will not improve.

 

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