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In this article, I analyse key statements by the Brazilian government about environmental issues during two important decades, from 1972 to 1992. I identify the specific subjects addressed by Brazilian spokespersons, and the rhetorical strategies they adopted for doing so. I conclude that these spokespersons largely adopted a defensive posture in response to mounting international pressures on a range of environmental issues, while using various rhetorical devices to highlight the positivedoi:10.1590/s0102-8529.2017390200011 fatcat:zwbb7mka2bajvcntdulvy4sqdq