The Pope flies to Kinshasa, the first leg of his African trip

BRASILIA: Germany announced on Monday that it is ready to allocate a total of 200 million euros for environmental protection in Brazil, including the Amazon. President Lula.

Mr Scholz arrived in Brazil this afternoon and spoke to 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.

“This is a significant amount” and “we will continue (cooperation) in this direction,” Mr. Scholz said at a press conference after the meeting with the Brazilian president, translated into Portuguese.

“We have a great common goal, which is to develop climate protection, to protect the Amazon rainforest, and this is only possible through cooperation,” added the German chancellor.

Economic Cooperation Minister Svenja Schulze said earlier that Germany wants to “contribute” to the protection of forests together with Brazil “after these difficult years”. He was referring to the four years of President Jair Bolsonaro’s mandate (2019-2022), during which deforestation in the Amazon has broken records.

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 all have to help it,” Ms. Schulze said.

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.

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Brazil’s new environment minister, Marina Silva, said Germany is also ready to “open markets for sustainably produced goods” in the 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 that help Brazil meet the commitment of the Paris Agreement to zero deforestation by 2030, by expelling invaders from indigenous lands to achieve sustainable development (…)” , said the Brazilian inspiration of the fight for the environment.

Mr 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.

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 discussions should have included, in particular, the return to the rails of the free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur – which has not yet been ratified since its signing in 2019 – and the protection of the Amazon, as well as the war. in Ukraine.

Mr Scholz is accompanied by dozens of businessmen on the trip to Latin America’s biggest economy and will meet with top Brazilian bosses in the afternoon.

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

Mr. Scholz said in Buenos Aires that the deal with Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay) “is our goal to finally reach a quick conclusion.”

“I hope that we can ‘sign an agreement’ with Latin America before the next summit to be held in Brussels on July 17 and 18,” European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans added on the last day. Brazil, Colombia tour. and Mexico.

no ammo

Regarding the occupation of Ukraine, Brazil will not send ammunition to Ukraine, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said. It was said in Berlin that “it is very important to destroy Russian propaganda”.

“My proposal is to create a group of countries around the table with Ukraine and Russia (to come together) to achieve peace,” Lula said.

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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