German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged 200 million euros (approximately $215 million) to help Brazil protect the Amazon rainforest during a visit to the Brazilian capital.
Image: Ueslei Marcelino/REUTERS
The chancellor announced that at a meeting with newly elected Brazilian President Lula da Silva on Monday, January 30, DW reports.
Under the government of the previous Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, the number of fires and clear-cutting in the Amazon rainforest increased. Moreover, during Bolsonaro’s four years in office, deforestation increased by 59.5% compared to the previous four years.
With the arrival of the new government, Scholz hopes that Brazil will return to the world stage.
Therefore, the Amazon protection package includes a new fund of 31 million euros for Brazilian states to protect tropical forests. The German Ministry of Development has announced that 93 million euros will be directed to reforestation projects.
Another 35 million euros were suspended by Germany and Norway during Bolsonaro’s presidency and reactivated.
The funds in the package are also earmarked for renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives and reforestation programs. Speaking in Brasilia, Scholz said that Brazil plays an important role in the “global green transition movement.”
The forest area in the Amazon is rapidly decreasing every year.
And if a few years ago, trees in the Brazilian rainforest consumed more carbon than they emitted, now the process has gone in the opposite direction.
The Amazon rainforest, which was once considered the “lungs of the planet,” now emits about as much carbon as Japan.
Olaf Scholz was on a tour of South America. At a meeting with the Brazilian President Germany’s chancellor said that Berlin shared a common position with Brasilia, with both governments condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Unfortunately, the chancellor did not convince the Brazilian counterpart to change his mind about supplying Ukraine with Brazilian ammunition. “Brazil is a country of peace and therefore does not want any involvement in this war, not even indirect,” Lula said. He urged Russia and Ukraine to negotiate, saying “until now the word peace is used very little.”
Scholz, meanwhile, said: “There can be no peace over the heads of Ukrainians, which is why we always said the condition for peace talks was Russia moving to withdraw troops.”