Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is heading to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) summit this week to galvanize action towards protecting the Amazon rainforest and call for zero deforestation.
According to his press team, he intends to make significant announcements, including reversing Brazil’s past environmental policies, creating a climate authority in Brazil and requesting the country to host COP30 in 2025.
In his first speech as president-elect, Lula pledged to end deforestation over the next four years through the strengthening of law enforcement and the building of capacities in government agencies that protect the environment.
In the second week of COP27, which started on Monday, 14 November, the world’s three largest rainforest nations Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Indonesia formally launched a partnership to cooperate on forest preservation.
It is reported that Lula will also seek a partnership with the two other rainforest nations to force developed nations to finance forest conservation.
The alliance is one of the successful examples of South-South cooperation at COP27, as the summit aimed to bring special focus to the plight of countries in the global South, particularly in Africa.
“We have the same challenges, the same opportunity to be the solution to climate change,” the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Environment Minister Eve Bazaiba said.
Forests are vital storehouses of carbon, yet they emit large quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere when they are cut down or cleared. One 2017 study estimated that forests and other ecosystems could provide more than one-third of the total carbon dioxide reductions required to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by 2030.
In 1980, Lula joined a group of workers, intellectuals and artists to form the Workers’ Party against Brazil’s outgoing president, Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing regime. Lula is a leftist politician who played a crucial role in bringing together trade unionists to fight for worker’s rights. This will not be his first time serving as president of Brazil — he previously held the position from 2003 to 2010.
This year’s COP27 is under the theme “together for implementation”, which brings special focus to the plight of developing nations, particularly in Africa. More than 100 heads of state have attended COP27, including US President Joe Biden last Friday. However, major global powers such as China, India and Russia are all absent from the event, as well as Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.