Brazil's President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced during his appearance at the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, that he will create a ministry of native peoples so that indigenous people are not treated as bandits.
Lula made those remarks before the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of 2022 (COP27), where he also pledged to put an end to the process of degradation that our forests are suffering.
He also launched a plan for Brazil to host 30th United Nations (UN) climate conference in 2025 in the Brazilian Amazon.
The Workers' Party leader received a standing ovation from climate activists who chanted Olé, olé, olé.... Lula... Lula..., particularly as he pledged to wage a very strong fight against deforestation. We are going to end the process of degradation that our tropical forests are undergoing, he proclaimed. I am here to tell all of you that Brazil is back in the world.
Brazil is back. It cannot be isolated as it was in the last four years. Brazil is too big, Lula insisted at the Amazonia Legal Consortium's pavilion at COP27. The consortium brings together the nine states of the Brazilian Amazon basin.
Regarding COP30, Lula stressed that it was important that it be in the Amazon; it is important that the people who defend the Amazon, the people who defend the climate, know firsthand what the region is.
Brazil's 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro laid the groundwork for all major international environmental agreements since the signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which aims to prevent global warming and was the basis for the COP meetings.
Lula was criticized for flying to the summit on a private jet belonging to a millionaire health industry businessman, José Seripieri Junior, a decision that his team justified under the argument that the tycoon was accompanying him to the COP and that Lula cannot travel on commercial flights because of the high chances of being harassed.
Six weeks ahead of his inauguration, Lula kicked off his diplomatic agenda in Egypt with meetings with U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry and Chinese chief negotiator Xhi Zhenhua, in addition to other talks.
I was encouraged by the way he spoke, to confront the problem once and for all, to preserve the Amazon, said Kerry. We will work diligently to achieve that goal together with our allies, Norway, Germany, and other countries that have been deeply committed to that for a long time.
Norway and Germany announced in the wake of Lula's victory that they were ready to resume their financial support to preserve Brazil's virgin Amazon rainforest, having withdrawn it in 2019 shortly after the right-wing Jair Bolsonaro came to power. Norway is the largest contributor to that fund, and according to its environment ministry, $614 million is currently available.
Brazil concentrates 60% of the Amazon, one of the largest CO2 sinks on the planet, spread over nine countries and fundamental in the fight against climate change.