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Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva speaking passionately

“There is no planetary security without a protected Amazon," President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said at the annual UN climate change conference COP27.

At the annual UN climate change conference COP27, President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva told the world that "Brazil is back," and that he intends to end the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest.


“Today, I am here to say that Brazil is ready to join once again [the] effort to build a healthier planet," Lula said. "Brazil has just ended elections, one of the most decisive in its history. It was followed in an unprecedented way by other countries. It could help control the rise of the authoritarian right and climate deniers around the world."

In his first international speech since winning the presidency of Brazil, Lula told world leaders that he intends to crack down on illegal gold mining, logging and agricultural expansion, and that his administration will focus on restoring critical ecosystems.

“There is no planetary security without a protected Amazon. We will do whatever it takes to have zero deforestation and degradations of our biomes," he continued. "For this reason, I would like to announce that efforts to fight climate change will have the highest priority in my next government. We will prioritize the fight against deforestation of all of our biomes and reverse damage done in recent years by the previous government."

Lula also vowed to pressure wealthy nations to follow through on their promise of $100 billion in climate funds to developing countries.

“We need more resources for a problem that was created by rich countries but is disproportionally felt by the most vulnerable," he said. "I would like to remind you that rich countries said they would raise one hundred billion [U.S.] dollars at Cop15 in Copenhagen to help the less developed countries to face climate change."

As climate change exacerbates extreme weather and raises global temperatures, Lula emphasized that no country can avoid the consequences that will follow if no action is taken.

“In the US, they live with tropical storms and more and more powerful hurricanes … In Brazil, which is a forest and hydrological power, we experienced drought and devastating floods. Europe faces extreme heat with fires and unprecedented deaths. And although it is the continent with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions, Africa has drought in Chad, Kenya and Somalia. I repeat: nobody is safe," he said.

Lula blamed global greediness for the current state of the environment, also seemingly referencing Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has been condemned not just for its human rights decimations, but it's destruction of Ukraine's natural resources.

“The planet warns us at every moment that we need each other to survive. Alone we are vulnerable to the climate tragedy. Nevertheless we ignored these warnings," Lula said. "We have spent trillions of dollars that only result in destruction and death. We experience a moment where we have multiple problems: nuclear war, crisis of food supply, energy, erosion of biodiversity, inequality."

He continued: "These are hard times. But it was always in difficult times that humanity overcame challenges. We need more confidence."

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