* Critics say Rousseff's green platform is hollow
* Campaign has largely been void of green issues
By Raymond Colitt
BRASILIA, Oct 20 Brazil's ruling party
candidate sought on Wednesday to win over green swing voters
ahead of an Oct. 31 presidential runoff, pledging to slash
Amazon deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.
Dilma Rousseff and her main rival Jose Serra are both
courting supporters of former environment minister Marina Silva
of the Green Party, who placed a strong third with 19 percent
of the votes in a first round vote on Oct. 3.
Polls show that former Sao Paulo state governor Serra is
capturing far more Silva votes than Rousseff. But he still
trails the frontrunner by between 4-12 percentage points in
"My pledge is to reduce deforestation in the Amazon by 80
percent," Rousseff told a crowd of supporters mostly from her
Referring to a 2020 target she and President Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva announced at global climate talks in Copenhagen
last year, Rousseff said she would also reduce greenhouse gas
emissions by around 39 percent. [ID:nN15201599]
"I will keep those promises," Rousseff said as she
presented her environmental platform in the capital Brasilia.
Full coverage of election: [ID:nBRAZIL]
Election Top News page: link.reuters.com/dux43p
Graphic on opinion polls: r.reuters.com/vet88p
Special report on Rousseff: link.reuters.com/fab25p
Political risks in Brazil: [ID:nRISKBR]
On Sunday, the Green Party voted against endorsing a
candidate in the runoff, a decision widely viewed as a setback
for Serra. [ID:nN1796674]
Several environmental celebrities, Green Party leaders, and
native Indians in feathered headdress on Wednesday showcased
their support for Rousseff, Lula's former chief of staff.
"I was for Marina in the first round and now I'm for
Dilma," said Angela Mendes, the daughter of legendary
conservationist Chico Mendes.
Critics said the event generated few concrete proposals.
"This means nothing. It's vague enough for her to dance
around once she's in office," said Sergio Leitao, a Greenpeace
Greenpeace protesters demanding that Rousseff adopt a zero
deforestation target briefly interrupted the event. Rousseff
said the protesters were entitled to their democratic rights
but that she would not be pressured.
"I don't hold political auctions to win support," Rousseff
Much of her 13-point platform focused on advancing existing
policies and most were vague. One proposal called for the
"strengthening of environmental education."
(Editing by Xavier Briand)