UN climate talks got a boost Wednesday as Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva vowed to fight Amazon deforestation and global leaders reaffirmed key pledges.
While G20 leaders meeting in Indonesia issued a final communique committing to pursue the more ambitious limits on global heating, action on the sidelines of fraught COP27 negotiations in Egypt generated momentum at the UN climate conference.
According to Press TV, Lula kicked off COP27 events Wednesday with a call to host the 2025 climate talks in the Amazon region, in his first international trip since defeating outgoing far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who presided over years of rampant Amazon deforestation.
“I am here to say to all of you that Brazil is back in the world,” said Lula as he received a jubilant welcome from hundreds of people at an Amazon region pavilion in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
“We will put up a very strong fight against illegal deforestation,” he said, announcing the creation of an Indigenous people’s ministry to protect the vast region’s vulnerable communities.
“There is no climate security for the world without a protected Amazon,” Lula said later in a speech.
Lula arrived in Egypt on Tuesday and went straight into climate diplomacy, with meetings with US Envoy John Kerry and China’s Xie Zhenhua.
In another boost to the UN climate process, the final communique from world leaders meeting at the Group of 20 talks in Bali, Indonesia, reaffirmed a promise to “pursue efforts” to curb global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The G20 document also addresses the most contentious issue at COP27, as leaders urged “progress” on “loss and damage” — the costs of climate impacts already being felt — though without saying which approach they favoured.
Developing nations are demanding the creation of a loss and damage fund, through which rich polluters would compensate them for the destruction caused by climate-linked natural disasters.