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Lula and the Amazon

According to the World Politics Review:

As Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was making his way to the United Nations COP27 Climate Change Conference in Egypt last month, representatives of the three countries that possess the majority of the world’s rainforest as measured by surface area announced a new initiative. There in Sharm el-Sheikh, the foreign ministers of Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo unveiled an agreement to work together toward conservation of the forests that are vital to protect the Earth’s biodiversity and guard against an irreversible climate catastrophe.

Upon learning of his electoral victory, Lula declared that “Brazil is ready to retake its leadership in the fight against the climate crisis.”

But however committed Lula is to turning his country back into a global leader in environmentalism, a clear-eyed look at Brazil’s political landscape suggests that he and his allies will face a ferocious battle at home to stop the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. That’s a disturbing reality check for the rest of the planet, because that South American jungle, dubbed “the lungs of the Earth,” produces up to 9 percent of the world’s total oxygen.

When I was a consul in Sao Paulo in the 1970s, Lula was the head of the steel workers union. Although he has always been a leftist, I think he was willing to talk to officers from the American consulate.

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