Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Nov 16 (EFE).- “Brazil is back,” President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told an enthusiastic crowd Wednesday at the latest United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), referring to the sharp contrast between his commitment to battling global warming and the dismissive skepticism of outgoing head of state Jair Bolsonaro.
In his first visit abroad since defeating Bolsonaro in an Oct. 30 presidential runoff, the icon of the Latin American left said Brazil, the main custodian of the Amazon rainforest, has suffered under four years of “disastrous government” and “climate denialism.”
Lula, who previously governed Brazil from 2003 to 2010, said climate change will be of the utmost priority in his third term in office and that his administration will “relentlessly combat environmental crimes.”
The president-elect’s presence at COP27 also serves to position Brazil as an interlocutor and spokesman for the environmental and socioeconomic claims of less-developed countries with respect to climate justice and the architecture of international relations.
“This invitation being extended to a recently elected president, even prior to his inauguration, is recognition that the world is anxious for Brazil to return to discussions on the future of the planet and all of its inhabitants,” the politician said.
“A planet constantly warning us that we need one another to survive. That when we’re alone we’re vulnerable to the climate tragedy,” he added.
Lula pledged that his administration will make every effort to “stop the dismantling and degradation of our biomass by 2030” and ensure that the destruction of the Amazon forest under Bolsonaro “is a thing of the past.”
To that end, he said he will restore protective controls and measures that had been dismantled by the outgoing president and create a Native Peoples Ministry with a view to giving indigenous Brazilians a key role in safeguarding the Amazon.
Lula said his return to power also will provide impetus for “a new global governance” in which more countries are allowed entry to the United Nations Security Council and the veto privilege enjoyed by a select few nations is scrapped.
“We need to go beyond our immediate national interests so that collectively we can bring about a new international order that reflects the needs of the present and our future aspirations,” the president-elect said, adding that an essential element in bringing about change is hope.
“Hope combined with immediate and decisive action for the future of the planet and humanity,” Lula said. EFE