“I’ve participated in COPs in Egypt, Paris, Copenhagen and all people talk about is the Amazon. So why not have the COP in the Amazon so [people] can get to know the Amazon, see its rivers, its forests, its fauna,” Lula said in a video posted on Twitter.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Mauro Vieira, said the UN approved Brazil’s bid to host COP30 on May 18 after Lula’s request during last year’s COP27 meeting in Egypt.
Belém do Pará is a northern Brazilian city located in the fringes of the Amazon forest. It’s the capital city of the state of Pará located on the coast of the Amazon river estuary.
The governor of Pará, Helder Barbalho, said in the same video that it is a “great privilege for the whole country” to host the event, saying it “increases the responsibility” of Brazil’s climate agenda regarding the rights of indigenous people and the environment.
Lula has promised to tackle Amazon deforestation and repair the damage to the Amazon caused by his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, under whose presidency deforestation surged.
But Lula’s government has come under fire for seemingly backtracking on its climate-related electoral promises in recent days. His administration helped Congress pass a draft law that strips the environment and indigenous people ministries of some powers, weakening their oversight of environmental protections and the demarcation of indigenous lands in the Amazon.
COP is the yearly United Nations Climate Change Conference, in which states discuss and agree on measures to deal with the environment. This year the 28th edition of the conference will be held in Dubai, according to the UN. The UN’s calendar does not include anything after that yet.
Last year’s climate summit saw negotiators from nearly 200 countries take the historic step of agreeing to set up a “loss and damage” fund meant to help vulnerable countries cope with climate disasters and agreed the globe needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions nearly in half by 2030.
However, an attempt to address the biggest source of the planet warming emissions that are causing the climate crisis ended in a fiasco after a number of nations, including China and Saudi Arabia, blocked a key proposal to phase out all fossil fuels, not just coal.