Lula wants to make Brazil a leader in the fight against climate change

Lula at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27

Ex-President Bolsonaro has largely shielded Brazil, Lula has other plans.

(Photo: dpa)

Sharm el Sheikh The elected Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wants to prioritize the fight against climate change and the protection of the Amazon region in his future government work. “There is no climate security in the world without a protected Amazon region,” Lula said on Wednesday in Egypt at the ongoing climate conference.

He announced that he would fight deforestation in all Brazilian ecosystems, rebuild the environmental and control bodies that had been weakened under President Jair Bolsonaro, and punish environmental crimes.

Lula also reiterated his plan to create an indigenous ministry. He addressed the agricultural sector, calling it an “ally in preserving the environment”. It is necessary to reconcile forest protection with development.

It was Lula’s first official international speech since his election in late October. “I want to tell you, Brazil is back,” he said. The voted-out right-wing President Bolsonaro had largely isolated Brazil internationally.

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The Brazilian leader-elect drew the most attention at Wednesday’s conference. Brazilians and other compatriots jostled each other at his public engagements, often erupting in cheers and lula chants. Fans and onlookers crowded in front of the hall for his speech in the evening.

Lula had previously received a letter from the governors of the Amazon and Brazil to the United Nations as the host of the World Climate Conference offered in 2025.

“We will speak to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and ask that the COP be held in Brazil in 2025 – and in Brazil in the Amazon,” he said. “I think it’s important that the people defending the Amazon get to know the region and the concrete reality.”

Hope for Indigenous Activists

Indigenous activists said women are the most common victims of agribusiness and corporate projects in the region. “Women are the most important custodians of areas like the Amazon and the land there,” said activist Helena Gualinga from Ecuador. “Protecting them and ensuring their basic rights helps protect the Amazon,” Gualinga said

State-backed oil and mining companies threatened indigenous peoples. “With Lula, we are optimistic that things can change,” said Taily Terena, an indigenous rights activist from Brazil.

In his previous term of office (2003 to 2010), the left-wing Lula was not considered a Green, but has now promised to strengthen environmental and climate protection. In Brazil, he was criticized for traveling to COP27 on a businessman’s plane.

More: States close rainforest alliance – India wants to become climate-neutral by 2070

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