Ex-ministers condemn course of Brazil's environmental policy

Eight former Brazilian environment ministers are lashing out at far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, saying his administration is "wrecking" environmental protections.

Gathered Wednesday at the University of Sao Paulo, the former officials issued a blistering statement on what they called the government's attacks on public policies that protect the ecosystem.

They said the Bolsonaro government has installed a sense of "impunity" that may favor deforestation in the Amazon, the vast expanse of rain forest whose existence many scientists consider vital to curbing climate change.

Bolsonaro repeatedly has questioned the reality of climate change and claims that environmental groups operate under foreign influence, hampering Brazil's economic growth.