Brazilian Lula is becoming a star at the UN climate talks

Brazilian Lula is becoming a star at the UN climate talks


After years of deforestation in the Amazon under Brazil’s outgoing leader Jair Bolsonaro, President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is set to speak at a UN climate conference on Wednesday, excited about how he will protect the rainforest.

Lula arrived in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Tuesday, on his first international trip since beating his far-right rival in the October 30 runoff.

The left-wing politician, who was president from 2003 to 2010, is expected to present his plan for “zero deforestation” at the COP27 conference on Wednesday afternoon.

“Brazil will again be a reference on the global climate issue,” Lula tweeted on Tuesday.

Under Bolsonaro, a staunch agribusiness ally, average annual deforestation increased by 75 percent compared to the previous decade.

Since last week, members of Brazil’s indigenous communities have been urging COP27 participants to take action and don traditional dress to raise awareness of their plight.

While the current government has a pavilion at COP27, former steelworker Lula sent two of his former environment ministers to lay the groundwork for his visit.

One of them, Marina Silva, who is expected to return to the job when Lula takes office on January 1, said the new president’s presence at COP27 sends a “big message” that Brazil is “reclaiming climate leadership” on the world stage. .

Brazil wants to set an example with Lula’s deforestation plan, she said.

Latin America’s most populous country became increasingly isolated under Bolsonaro, analysts say, in part due to its permissive policies on deforestation and exploitation of the Amazon — whose preservation is seen as crucial to combating global warming.

Brazil hosts 60 percent of the Amazon, which stretches across eight countries and acts as a massive sink for carbon emissions.

Silva promoted the idea of ??creating a new national agency to coordinate climate action between departments and pursue a reforestation goal of 12 million hectares (over 29 million acres).

– Lula meets Kerry –

The new administration wants the United States to contribute to the Amazon Fund, which is considered one of the most important tools to reduce deforestation in the world’s largest tropical forest.

Lula and Silva met with US climate chief John Kerry on Tuesday.

After Lula’s victory, the fund’s main contributors, Norway and Germany, announced their renewed participation after freezing aid in 2019 following Bolsonaro’s election.

Left-wing Colombian President Gustavo Petro and his socialist Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro presented an initiative to protect the Amazon at last week’s COP27, which they hope Brazil will join.

NGOs and indigenous leaders want Lula to set up the first ministry for indigenous peoples.

Brazilian lawmaker and indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara urged Lula to “think about social policies with the people.”

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