Brazilian Lula pledges to defeat “all crimes” in the Amazon rainforest


President-elect Lula da Silva receives a superstar welcome at the COP27 summit in Egypt as he promises to recommit the rainforest nation to fight illegal deforestation and mining “unabated”.

“There will be no climate security if the Amazon is not protected,” says Lula da Silva. (AFP)

Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told cheering crowds at the United Nations climate conference in Egypt that he would crack down on illegal deforestation in the Amazon, restore ties with countries that fund efforts to protect forests and would push to host an upcoming global climate summit in the rainforest.

Despite a mixed record on the environment and prison sentences on his CV, the 77-year-old left-wing politician drew crowds on Wednesday curious to hear his promises to protect the Amazon rainforest.

“Brazil is back,” repeated Lula, words his supporters sang about during his speech at the COP27 conference in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

At COP27, Lula pledged to fight deforestation, offered to host the UN climate talks in the Amazon region in 2025, and pledged to make Brazil a leader again. the global fight against the climate crisis.

In two appearances, Lula laid out a vision for managing the world’s largest rainforest, critical to tackling the climate crisis, that contrasted sharply with that of incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, whose administration has witnessed some the fastest logging in decades.

“There will be no climate security if the Amazon is not protected,” Lula said, adding that all crimes in the forest, from illegal logging to mining, would be suppressed “without respite”.

Adrian Martinez Blanco, who is attending the Costa Rican NGO La Ruta del Clima’s climate conference, said: “Lula represents political change for Latin America.”

“It is a turn towards the protection of the planet, of the Amazon, of human rights, of the rights of indigenous peoples,” he said.

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“Back home”

During the conference, Lula also demanded that rich countries keep their promise to provide $100 billion a year in climate finance.

Lula, who served as president from 2003 to 2010, pulled off a huge political comeback to defeat Bolsonaro.

He left office as a blue-collar hero who presided over a commodity-fueled economic boom that helped lift 30 million people out of poverty.

But then he got mired in a huge corruption scandal and served more than 18 months in prison in 2018.

His conviction was later overturned.

“It’s very interesting to listen to him first hand and understand how he captures so much love from his people, without necessarily being the best for the country,” said University student Sofya Levitina. of Connecticut, referring to the corruption scandal.

Melissa Yokoe Ashbaugh, who studies at the same American university, said her “impression of the excitement is that it represents the return of a popular wave of right-wing (that is to say) anti-environment”.

“It’s kind of the hope of people engaged in this kind of climate action space that around the world, administrations like his will represent those interests,” she said.

Brazilian climate activist Mariana Paoli, who leads global advocacy at Christian Aid, said Brazil has become a “pariah state” under Bolsonaro when it comes to climate policy.

“It’s so good to see Lula bring Brazil back into the fold,” she said in a statement.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies


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