Latin America’s largest nation is facing its most important election in decades as Jair Bolsonaro and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva square off amid deep political and cultural polarisation. FT Brazil bureau chief Bryan Harris travels the nation to look at the enormous economic and social challenges facing the next president. He meets wealthy farmers, truckers, evangelicals and those facing food insecurity. Read more at https://on.ft.com/3Cjrg5T
Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 214 million people, Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country by area and the seventh most populous.
The new prime minister must eschew pantomime radicalism if she is to succeed. The sceptics have many reasons to be dubious—yet underestimating Liz Truss is a mistake her opponents have already made to their cost.
Two states, two very different states of mind. On August 25th California banned the sale of petrol-powered cars from 2035, a move that will reshape the car industry, reduce carbon emissions and strain the state’s electricity grid. On the same day in Texas a “trigger” law banned abortion from the moment of conception, without exceptions for rape or incest. Those who perform abortions face up to 99 years in prison.
If you are the type of person who is loth to invest in firms that pollute the planet, mistreat workers and stuff their boards with cronies, you will no doubt be aware of one of the hottest trends in finance: environmental, social and governance (esg) investing. It is an attempt to make capitalism work better and deal with the grave threat posed by climate change. It has ballooned in recent years; the titans of investment management claim that more than a third of their assets, or $35trn in total, are monitored through one esg lens or another. It is on the lips of bosses and officials everywhere.
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, why the Democrats need to wake up and stop pandering to their extremes, Europe’s winter of discontent (9:50), and why bottling white wine in clear glass is an error (18:09).
How to fix the world’s energy emergency without wrecking the environment
Even as they firefight, governments must resolve the conflict between safe supply and a safe climate.
This year’s energy shock is the most serious since the Middle Eastern oil crises of 1973 and 1979. Like those calamities, it promises to inflict short-term pain and in the longer term to transform the energy industry. The pain is all but guaranteed: owing to high fuel and power prices, most countries are facing soggy growth, inflation, squeezed living standards and a savage political backlash. But the long-run consequences are far from preordained. If governments respond ineptly, they could trigger a relapse towards fossil fuels that makes it even harder to stabilise the climate. Instead they must follow a perilous path that combines security of energy supply with climate security.