Promising A Change
Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was received by cheering crowds Wednesday at the ongoing United Nations climate conference, where he pledged to reinvigorate and preserve the Amazon Rainforest, Bloomberg reported.
In a pair of appearances at the Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt-based conference, known as COP27, Lula said he was "here in front of all of you to tell you that Brazil is back."
"Brazil can't be isolated as it was in the last four years," he added.
Lula, a well-known leftist icon in Brazil, won the presidency by defeating right-wing incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, under whose leadership the Amazon has seen its highest rate of deforestation in six years, BBC News reported. Lula, though, has said he would make environmental issues one of his highest priorities upon taking office.
"There will be no climate security if the Amazon isn't protected," Lula said, per The Associated Press. He added that his government is planning to crack down heavily on illegal logging and mining within the rainforest.
According to The New York Times, Lula also told the crowd that being invited to COP27 prior to taking office was "an acknowledgment that the world is in a rush to see Brazil participating once again in the discussion of the future of the planet and all the human beings that live on it."
While the Times noted that Lula did not make any new policy announcements, his words provide assurance that climate change will be at the top of his agenda.