Research funds can be used to dismantle a truck – 20/04/2022 – Science

Research funds can be used to dismantle a truck – 20/04/2022 – Science

A new parliamentarian (Provisional measure) by the government Jair Bolsonaro (PL) worries the bodies that defend the public funding of science. The measure authorizes that amounts previously allocated entirely to research, development and innovation are used for the dismantling and scrapping of heavy vehicles over the age of 30, such as trucks.

“These resources support projects in areas such as digital technologies, carbon capture and use, which is very important for decarbonisation, and the development of new energies, such as renewables,” says Luiz Davidovich, president of ABC ( Brazilian Academy of Sciences).

MP 1.112 was released on April 1 and went into effect thereafter. In it, the government established the Program to Increase the Productivity of the Highway Fleet in the Country, called Renovar, and amended three laws.

One of the amended laws was 9,478 of 1997, which regulates national energy policy and requires oil companies to allocate up to 1% of gross revenue to finance oil and gas research.

With the new deputy, however, the government has modified the text of this law in order to allow the use of the resource to finance the scrapping of heavy vehicles.

Although this is a budget intended to finance scientific research, the management of these resources is not entrusted to the MCTI (Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation). In reality, the budget is an assignment of the ANP (National Agency for Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels), which is linked to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

THE Bed sheet he contacted Palazzo Planalto to understand why this change was chosen and the impacts it can generate on the scientific development of the country. The Palace forwarded the concerns to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, but the Ministry did not respond to questions until this report was published.

For Davidovich, the new measure could represent a problem for the country’s growth. “[As pesquisas financiadas] these are very important issues for the country’s economic development and international leadership, but also for the environment. When we talk about capturing and using carbon and new, less polluting energy, we are talking about protecting the environment, “she says.

According to Bolsonaro’s parliamentarian, the new rules are valid until 2027, but funds from previous years that have not been used for research can be allocated to renew the fleet. “If it were only this year, it would already damage Brazil’s sustainable future. Until 2027, things get worse,” says Davidovich.

The main problem is that the new possibility of using the budget differs from its initial purpose in that it no longer has a direct impact on the financing of innovation projects. “Our position is that it is very positive to reform Brazil’s heavy vehicle fleet, but it cannot be done with the resources devoted to research because the goose that lays golden eggs is being killed,” says the president of ABC. , also referring to the cuts suffered in science in recent years.

This view which disapproves of the measure, however, is not adopted by sectors related to the automotive industry.

The vice president of Anfavea (National Association of Vehicle Manufacturers), Marco Saltini, said in an event organized by the body that Renovar “will play a significant role in the social sphere, allowing autonomous hauliers the opportunity to exchange their vehicle with productivity. “.

Luiz Carlos Moraes, president of the association, also expressed a positive opinion on the provision. “This decree, more than a victory for the automotive sector, is a milestone for truckers and for society as a whole,” he said at the same event.

For critics, the fact that Bolsonaro allows this budget to be allocated to sectors related to hauliers is of political interest, as this public would be one of the direct beneficiaries of the withdrawal of their vehicles from circulation for a scrapping process.

According to a note from Anfavea, the owner of a heavy vehicle over the age of 30 will be able to deliver it and “receive the market value, plus the value of the scrap”.

“This measure has a purpose [com fins na eleição] because the president wants to consolidate an electoral base among truckers, “says Davidovich.

In a note, several scientific entities, including ABC and SBPC (Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science), say the resource originated by the 9,478 law has funded the construction of 150 laboratories across Brazil. In addition, the budget included over 200 collaborations with universities and research institutes.

“The resource is distributed through calls to universities. These institutions prepare projects and are judged by a committee in terms of merit,” says Davidovich. According to the PA, there is also the possibility that the research will take place in the same oil company or in other Brazilian companies.

Since the decision that opens gaps for the reorientation of this budget was taken with an interim measure, it needs to be voted on by the National Congress to become a law.

“What we want is that the MP is not approved by Congress because it will harm Brazil for a long time. It will affect the core of a country’s development, which is science and technology,” says Davidovich.

Another way to reverse the situation is through amendments that members of Congress propose as soon as an MP is changed by the representative. In the case of this provision 1.112, an amendment was proposed by the deputy Reginaldo Lopes (PT-MG) to suppress the two paragraphs that allow the use of the resource for scrapping purposes.

“We are fighting for [a emenda seja aprovada ou que a MP não se torne uma lei]”, concludes Davidovich.