RPM uses macros instead of envvars to increase reproducibility of builds.
How rpm is configured, and how rpmbuild is invoked, are matters that you need
to take up with build systems. That would also be true if envvar's were used
instead of macros.
Note that there is (or at least was) a 3rd way to change macros to load while
building, using a macro files directive in rpmrc configuration. I dunno whether
that mechanism is still supported or recommended.
In summary, you now have 3 mechanisms, 2 of which permit patterns, to customize
rpmbuild to taste.
You need to address further questions with build system maintainers, not rpm.
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