The U.S. and Brazil are holding negotiations this week to strike a deal to save the Amazon rainforest. This ahead of the Leaders Summit on Climate on April 22 and 23, a virtual event hosted by the U.S. has invited 40 world leaders including Bolsonaro.
Brazil: Environment Minister Sued for Promoting Amazon Logging
During his campaign, Biden had pledged to allocate $20 billion to save the Amazon rainforest as part of his initiatives to tackle climate change. However, reports on the latest meetings this week highlight that Brazil is seeking upfront money for Amazon while the U.S. expects to see some specifics results before releasing the funding.
Environmental activists and Indigenous leaders have denounced that such a deal would contribute to Bolsonaro’s re-election and promote illegal forest clearance in the Amazon. According to the Climate Change News website, “on Monday eight Brazilian indigenous leaders spoke online to Jonathan Pershing, the US official in charge of the negotiations, and US ambassador Todd Chapman.”
The executive coordinator of Brazil’s Indigenous People Articulation Dinamam Tuxá, who participated in the meeting, warned the U.S that “there is no dialogue with the indigenous peoples of Brazil. That’s not because the indigenous people refuse to speak but because Brazilian government policy does not allow for this to happen… the Brazilian government is not worried about indigenous peoples and protecting the forests.”
Nonetheless, Brazilian Environment Minister Ricardo Salles publicly asked for $1 billion in advance to dramatically refuse deforestation in 2021, at least 30 to 40 percent, but the US insists that Brazil has to achieve this goal first and then be granted the money.
At least 200 Brazilian NGOs have warned the U.S. about accepting Bolsonaro´s conditions. Instead, activists hope that Biden gives the money to the Legal Amazon, a consortium of nine Amazon states, but specialists have said that the alternative could be difficult to achieve since it requires permission from the federal authorities.