Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Monday told European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that his country wanted to generate a common agenda with the European Union (EU) to respond to present and future environmental challenges and the transition to renewable energies.
We want to deepen the discussion with the EU on the climate issue, said Lula in Brussels during the Summit between the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac). The South American leader also said that in August he will present a development program for the country, a plan that includes a package on energy transition.
Brazil will do its part on the climate issue; we have a commitment to zero deforestation by 2030 in the Amazon, and it is almost a commitment of faith for me and for Brazilians, Lula added.
He also asked Von der Leyen that the EU understands that 50 million people live in the South American Amazon who need to have decent and dignified survival conditions.
The European leader replied that We are facing the generational challenge of climate change. That is why we need our close friends to be by our side in these times of uncertainty.
”That is why I welcome Brazil's return to the international scene (...) It is very timely, and has already given a positive impulse to the strategic partnership between our two regions,” she added.
Deforestation and environmental issues have been hindering the trade deal between the EU and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay). Von der Leyen said her goal was to resolve the outstanding issues as soon as possible, so as to conclude this agreement.
Speaking at the opening session of the EU-Celac Summit, Lula also said that the conflict in Ukraine was a confirmation that the UN Security Council is not addressing the current challenges to peace and security.
We vehemently repudiate the use of force to resolve disputes, he said, recalling that his country supports initiatives promoted by different countries and regions in favor of an immediate cessation of hostilities and a negotiated peace.
Resorting to sanctions and blockades, without the protection of international law, serves only to penalize the most vulnerable populations, Lula also pointed out.
For his part, the pro tempore president of Celac Ralph Gonçalves, prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, insisted that the summit ”should not become another useless battlefield for discourse on this issue (war), which has been and continues to be addressed in other more relevant forums.”