Germany pledges 200 million euros for environmental protection in Brazil

Germany wants to “contribute” to the protection of forests together with Brazil “after these difficult years”.

Germany announced on Monday that it is ready to commit a total of 200 million euros to environmental protection in Brazil, including the Amazon, as part of a visit to Brazil by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the first Western leader to receive a new government. President Lula.

Olaf Scholz arrived in Brazil this afternoon and spoke with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who only took office on January 1 for this final leg of his Latin American tour, which took him to Argentina and Chile.

Germany wants to ‘contribute’ to the protection of forests together with Brazil after these difficult years,” Economic Cooperation Minister Svenja Schulze said during a press conference with Brazil’s new environment minister, Marina Silva.

He was referring to the four years of President Jair Bolsonaro’s mandate (2019-2022), during which deforestation in the Amazon has broken records.

“Brazil is the lungs of the world”

Germany already announced at the beginning of the year that it would add another 35 million euros to the Amazon Fund after the fund was frozen in 2019 due to the environmental controversy of Bolsonaro’s mandate.

Berlin will also give 31 million euros to Brazil’s Amazon states for “forest protection and sustainable use projects,” the minister added, as well as announcing 80 million euros in low-interest loan aid for farmers to rehabilitate their land. .

“Brazil is the lungs of the world. If it has a problem, we should all help it,” said Svenja Schulze.

Other projects announced include Germany’s contribution to an “energy efficiency guarantee” fund for small and medium-sized enterprises and two “sustainable supply chain” projects.

Berlin also wants to finance the project “development of renewable energies in industry and transport” and finally the “reforestation of protected areas”. Germany’s ambassador to Brazil said on Twitter that all these projects, including the already known contribution to the Amazon Foundation, amount to about 200 million euros.

Olaf Scholz was received by Lula

Marina Silva, for her part, felt that Germany was also ready to “open up markets for sustainably produced goods” on Amazon.

Part of the Amazon Fund, created in 2008, could be earmarked for “emergency measures” with indigenous communities such as the Yanomami, who are suffering from malnutrition and infectious diseases due to increased illegal gold mining activity on their land, he said.

“We are looking for communities to help Brazil meet its Paris Agreement commitment to reduce deforestation to zero by 2030, drive squatters off indigenous lands to achieve sustainable development (…).

Olaf Scholz was received by Lula at the Planalto Presidential Palace in the afternoon. His social democratic party, the SPD, has long had close ties to the Workers’ Party (PT), which Lula co-founded in the early 1980s.

The issue of ratification of the EU-Mercosur agreement

Berlin, like other European capitals, hopes to turn the page on the stormy relationship with Bolsonaro in favor of Lula’s return to power.

The menu of the negotiations was supposed to include the return to the tracks of the free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur – still not ratified since it was signed in 2019 – and the war, in addition to the preservation of the Amazon. in Ukraine.

Olaf Scholz is accompanied by dozens of businessmen for this trip to Latin America’s largest economy and met with senior Brazilian bosses in the afternoon.

Scheduled Scholz-Lula press conference

The EU-Mercosur free trade agreement was never ratified, particularly due to concerns over Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policies.

Olaf Scholz said in Buenos Aires that the agreement with Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay) “is our goal to conclude as soon as possible”. Lula and Olaf Scholz were due to hold a press conference from 18.30 (21.30 GMT).

Regarding the invasion of Ukraine, Olaf Scholz should try to get the support of Brazil against Russia. It was said in Berlin that “it is very important to destroy Russian propaganda”.

Brazil condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine at the UN, but did not accept economic sanctions against Moscow. Lula even drew criticism in December by declaring that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy “bears as much responsibility” for the conflict as Vladimir Putin.

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