President Jair Bolsonaro highlighted on Tuesday, in New York, Brazil's work on environmental preservation and the fight against climate change. He also emphasized that he always defended fighting the virus and unemployment simultaneously and with the same responsibility, and claimed lockdowns have “left a legacy of inflation, particularly in foodstuffs around the world.”
Bolsonaro was speaking at UN Headquarters at the opening of the high-level week of the United Nations General Assembly. After being held virtually last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s gathering features hybrid activities that include leaders in person along with virtual participants. Brazil has opened the debate since 1955.
For the Brazilian President, the results of action on climate “have already started to appear.” In the Amazon, he pointed to a 32% reduction in deforestation in the month of August, when compared to the same month last year.
He introduced the country as “an example in energy generation”, with 83% coming from renewable sources, and said he would seek consensus on the rules of the global carbon credit market at the COP26, the UN Climate Conference that starts at the end of October in Glasgow.
“We expect industrialized countries to effectively meet their climate finance commitments in relevant volumes,” Mr. Bolsonaro said.
He recalled that Brazil's agriculture sector feeds more than one billion people in the world, using only 8% of the national territory, and assured that “no country in the world has such complete environmental legislation.”
“Our Forest Code must set an example for other countries,” he said.
Bolsonaro recognized Brazil faces “great environmental challenges”, being a nation of continental dimensions. The Amazon region alone is equivalent to the area of the whole of Western Europe
”The future of green jobs is in Brazil: renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, low-emission industry, basic sanitation, waste treatment and tourism,” and remembered that 14% of the national territory, an area equivalent to Germany and France together, is destined to indigenous reserves.
“In these regions, 600,000 Indians live in freedom and increasingly want to use their land for agriculture and other activities,” he said.
Addressing the issue of Covid 19, Bolsonaro said that “the pandemic took everyone by surprise in 2020” and that his administration “regrets all the deaths that occurred in Brazil and in the world.”
As of 20 September, there have been more than 21 million confirmed cases of Covid 19 in Brazil, with 590,508 deaths reported to WHO, the number is only second to the United States. Who also reported that more than 207 million doses of vaccines have been administered in Brazil, meaning more than 66% of the population has received at least one shot.
The Brazilian president said he “always defended fighting the virus and unemployment simultaneously and with the same responsibility” and pointed to “isolation and lockdown measures” that have “left a legacy of inflation, particularly in foodstuffs around the world.”
Bolsonaro assured that, until November, everyone who chose to be vaccinated in Brazil will be assisted.
On international affairs, the Brazilian president remembered his country’s participation in UN peacekeeping missions, from Suez to Congo, passing through Haiti and Lebanon.
He said Brazil “has always welcomed refugees” and mentioned the 400,000 Venezuelans the country has received in the last few years. Showing “deep concern” for the future of Afghanistan, he assured Brazil “will grant humanitarian visas to Afghan Christians, women, children and judges.”
Next year Brazil will again occupy a seat at the UN Security Council, having been elected by 181 countries earlier this year for a two-year term as a non-permanent member.
Bolsonaro concluded his speech saying his country supports a reform of the Council and seeks a permanent seat.