Brazil’s Lula Vows To Slow Rate Of Amazon Deforestation

By Dialogo
October 14, 2009

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he will offer to reduce the pace of deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rain forest by 80 percent by 2020 when he attends December's global climate talks in Copenhagen. Lula said his pledge will come during high-stakes talks in the Danish capital that aim to push 192 nations towards a climate deal to succeed the landmark Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. "We're in the process of preparing our proposal for Copenhagen," Lula said on his weekly radio program. "I foresee that by 2020 we will be able to reduce deforestation by 80 percent, in other words we will emit some 4.8 billion fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide gas," Lula said during his "Coffee with the President" program. Brazil's rain forest, the largest on Earth, is shrinking at the rate of some 12,000 square kilometers per year because of deforestation. Lula said he will also demand in Copenhagen that industrialized countries pay their fair share of the costs of reducing greenhouse gases. Proposals offered by developed countries should not only cover "initiatives to reduce their emissions, but all the other harm they already have inflicted on the planet," the Brazilian leader said. "We have to draw a line between rich countries, which have a had an industrial policy in place for more than 150 years, and the poor ones which only now are beginning to develop," he said. "With respect to global warming, the responsibility of the rich countries is much greater than that of emerging countries," said Lula.