‘Brazil has experienced an unprecedented variety of extreme weather events in recent years: tornadoes in the South, drought in the Southeast and torrential rains in the North. This should serve as a red alert for us all,’ says environmental activist Nicole Oliveira. As director of 350.org in Latin America, her mission is two-fold: raise public awareness about climate change in the region, while leading the fossil-fuel divestment movement in Brazil.
The latter is especially challenging in a country that has been named the most violent place on the planet to fight for the environment. Still, Oliveira is steadfast: ‘The deforestation of the Amazon is reaching a point of no return. We have to stop investing in harmful industries right now, and start investing in things like renewable energy and small-scale agriculture. Drought, floods, typhoons, hurricanes, blizzards and heat waves are signs that more will happen if nothing is done.’
In addition to her work at 350.org, Oliveira is the national coordinator of the Coalition No Fracking Brazil. As an expert in the fields of law and international sustainability, she has also served as a consultant for other non-governmental organizations such as the Humane Society International, Vitae Civils, Oxfam Brazil and Foundation Cooperlivre Arayara. Oliveira holds two master’s degrees in International Law and Conflict Resolution from the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica and the University of Innsbruck in Austria.