Climate change: Brazil’s Lula to return to world stage at COP27

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Brazil’s president-in-waiting Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is set to address the UN climate summit COP27 in Egypt, with expectations running high.

The election of the left-wing leader has been called the best news for the climate in 2022, as he promises to end the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.

Nations are meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh to discuss action to tackle climate change.

Lula is also meeting leaders from US, China and EU.

There is a palpable sense of excitement at the visit of the newly elected Brazilian president to this summit.

Young Brazilian activists at COP27 met Lula privately at COP27 on Tuesday. “It was hugely emotional, I cried a lot. It is unbelievable to feel part of Brazil again,” Gabrielle Alves, an environmental racism researcher who is part of the Clima de Mudanca coalition said.

Under President Jair Bolsonaro, who will hand over power to Lula in January, deforestation of the Amazon reached record highs.

A climate skeptic, Bolsanaro accused NGOs of setting the Amazon on fire to embarrass his government, and he allowed illegal mining to expand in the Amazon, including on protected indigenous land.

Puyr Tembé, an indigenous leader from heavily deforested Pará state, said that Bolsonaro completely dismantled laws protecting the Amazon and attacked environmental defenders.

By contrast, Lula has said he will try to end deforestation and restore the Amazon.

On Tuesday US climate envoy John Kerry said he was confident Lula would bring a complete turnaround on climate in Brazil.

Former environment minister in Brazil Isabella Texeira said: “what has changed is the world is embracing Brazil at COP27 today”.

Agencies

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