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Risk of funding cuts

In a session held on August 3, the Brazilian Senate approved a provisional federal measure that reallocates some of the funds originally earmarked for research, development, and innovation by oil and natural gas companies to renewing the country’s fleet of trucks, buses, and vans. The measure was published in April and was set to expire in August. Having received Senate approval (it had already been voted on in the Chamber), the measure will now be submitted for presidential approval before becoming law. The text establishes the Renovar Program, designed to remove old vehicles from circulation—a quarter of the 3.5 million trucks on Brazilian roads are over 30 years old. The new rule states that Renovar will be financed with income from traffic fines, taxes on fuels, and part of the funding that oil and gas companies are required to direct to research, development, and innovation in the energy sector. In April, Brazilian scientific societies sent a letter to the Chamber and the Senate warning that approval of the measure would result in Brazil “exchanging knowledge for scrap.”