02 Nov 2022, 14:10
Julian Wettengel

Germany ready to unfreeze Amazon Fund donation after Lula win in Brazil – state sec

Clean Energy Wire / Reuters

[CORRECTION: Corrects wrong date for run-off election in Brazil. It took place on 30 October 2022.]

Germany is willing to quickly unfreeze funds to help curb deforestation in the Amazon rainforest after the victory of Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said Jochen Flasbarth, state secretary in the German development ministry. “We are ready in principle to release the frozen funds for the Amazon Fund for Forest Conservation and Climate Protection in Brazil,” said Flasbarth. The government would now discuss details with the transition team in Brazil. “There is a strong will within the German government to reach out to Brazil quickly now.” Flasbarth added that climate also played a major role in the difficult election campaign in the South American country. “Now it is important that the new government can show that states are willing to quickly strengthen cooperation with Brazil in this area,” said the state secretary. Flasbarth did not say how much money would be provided.

Lula, who won the run-off election on Sunday (30 October), has promised to protect the Amazon rainforest and restore Brazil's leadership on climate change, Reuters reported. “Brazil is ready to retake its leadership in the fight against the climate crisis,” Lula said in his victory speech. “Brazil and the planet need a living Amazon.”

Norway and Germany froze Amazon funds after a surge in deforestation in the South American rainforest and disputes with the government of outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro. With hundreds of millions of euros in donations, the Amazon Fund has been central to international efforts to curb deforestation, although its impact is contested, wrote the Guardian. Set up in 2008 and mainly funded by Norway, it provides funding for measures to prevent, control and combat deforestation and for the conservation and sustainable use of resources in the Brazilian Amazon, thus combatting climate change. Germany froze 35 million euros in 2019.

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