COP27: Norway promises to increase transfers to protect the Amazon with Lula

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COP27: Norway promises to increase transfers to protect the Amazon with Lula

Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, Espen Barth Eide, told BBC News Brasil on Tuesday (15) that he should increase the sending of money from the Nordic country to conservation projects in the Amazon after President Luiz Inácio Lula takes office. da Silva in January.

According to him, the Norwegian government is already going to start negotiating with Lula’s transition team the conditions for unblocking the Amazon Fund, as well as the possibility of increasing transfers from the Nordic country for the preservation of the forest.

“We want to unlock the Amazon Fund as soon as we reach an agreement on its institutional structure. What President Lula said in the campaign, what his team has been talking to us and the experience we had in the past suggest that it is something that we can solve quickly,” said Eide, who is in Egypt for COP27, the United Nations summit on climate change.

“We are already going to talk to Lula’s team to prepare this. And, once in power, he will have to make some decisions that we think he will make and the fund will be reopened quickly”, he said.

The minister recalled that there are currently around US$540 million in the Amazon Fund, frozen since 2019 when Norway and Germany disagreed with the Jair Bolsonaro government over how transfers should be managed. Eide highlighted that, in addition to this money, other resources should be made available by the Nordic country from January 2023.

“That money is already there, but we are also very ready to cooperate with Brazil on other projects for the Amazon. The ecosystem does not respect borders. So we are very excited to improve our relationship with Brazil, which I think will happen .”

Asked by BBC News Brasil if there was room for more money to be invested in the Amazon Fund, he replied:

“Yes, in principle yes. The first step is to unlock the money that is already there, but we want to have conversations to close new collaborations.”

Earlier, at an event with governors of states that are home to areas of the Amazon rainforest, the director of the Norwegian government program that manages transfers from the Amazon Fund, Andreas Dahi Jorgensen, said that, with Lula in office, “the world” needs to mobilize resources to help Brazil.

“Brazil showed the best emissions mitigation results in history under Lula’s presidency. We have the president-elect saying he wants to repeat this feat, which is of enormous global significance. So the world has to come together to mobilize resources and the tools to partner with Brazil in a way never seen before,” said Jorgensen.

Germany talks about unlocking before inauguration

Germany, which contributes a smaller amount than Norway to the Amazon Fund, said it may unlock its share even before taking office.

“The Amazon Fund works according to performance. If deforestation decreases, money flows. I already announced in public that we have to return with the Amazon Fund, the financing will be available before the beginning of next year”, he said. Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary of the German Ministry of Economy, at an event with Brazilian governors at COP27.

“We are very attracted by the idea of ​​a standing forest economy. This is what we want to see and support. We know that Brazil and the Amazon region need growth to improve people’s well-being and that is why we are renewing this partnership with our Brazilian friends.”

Lula at COP26

Lula is participating this Wednesday (16) in the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. His presence is one of those expected by international leaders and the foreign press.

Around 17:00 local time, he will make a speech. On Tuesday (15), already in Egypt, reserved meetings were planned with the special envoys of the United States, John Kerry, and of China, Xie Zhen Hua.

Before meeting Lula, John Kerry told BBC News Brasil that he was “excited” to talk with the president-elect and that he expected a “complete turnaround” in Brazilian environmental policy.

“I’m excited to meet him,” said Kerry. When asked by BBC News Brasil if the US will inject resources into the Amazon Fund, he replied: “We will analyze it… Obviously I want to have the chance to talk (with Lula), but I am confident that he will promote a complete shift in policies .”

“We are excited to work with him and confident that we will do everything we can to preserve the Amazon.”

During COP27, Kerry also met with elected federal deputy Marina Silva, one of the most likely names to assume the Ministry of the Environment. She said in an interview with BBC News Brasil that she asked the US and representatives of other wealthy countries, such as Canada, Germany and Norway, to contribute financially to the Amazon Fund.

“All the leaders with whom I spoke indicated that they are interested in increasing cooperation with Brazil. We are the largest country in Latin America. We have an important role in the field of geopolitics and the world is aware of that. You know that we are experiencing a crisis economic, social and political and is very supportive in helping Brazil in these four years”, he said.

“In the conversations I had with Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, in short, all partners have signaled and understood that Brazil is the country that can change the paradigm, because it has the best conditions to do so. And people want to see Brazil leading by example.”

Representatives of nearly 200 nations are meeting in Egypt to discuss new commitments to guarantee the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

At last year’s summit, COP26, Brazil signed an important agreement on forest protection, which sets the goal of zero deforestation in the world by 2030. The document provides for US$ 19.2 billion in public and private resources for actions related to preservation of forests, firefighting, reforestation and protection of indigenous territories. President Jair Bolsonaro did not attend and the negotiations advanced with the participation of Itamaraty diplomats.

But the indicators show Brazil going against the grain of promises and commitments to control CO2 emissions. The rate of deforestation in the Amazon recorded in 2021 was the highest in 15 years and the number of carbon dioxide emissions by Brazil last year was the highest in 16 years.

Bolsonaro again chose not to attend COP27. The government is being represented by the Minister of the Environment, Joaquim Leite. But international attention is focused on Lula and his ministers, as demonstrated by the agenda of important bilateral meetings that Marina Silva and the president-elect will hold this week at COP27.

This text was published here.

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