Colombia, Venezuela pledge to save Amazon rainforest

Gustavo Petro and Nicolas Maduro launch call at COP27 climate summit for wide-ranging alliance to protect planet’s biggest tropical forest

Laura Gamba  | 09.11.2022 - Update : 09.11.2022
Colombia, Venezuela pledge to save Amazon rainforest FILE PHOTO

BOGOTA, Colombia

The presidents of Colombia and Venezuela, Gustavo Petro and Nicolas Maduro, issued a call Tuesday at the COP27 climate summit for forming an alliance to protect the Amazon, the planet's biggest tropical forest.

"We are determined to revitalize the Amazon rainforest to give humanity an important victory in the fight against climate change," Petro said at the UN climate summit, which is being held in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

"If we, in the South Americas, carry a responsibility, it is to stop the destruction of the Amazon and put in place a coordinated process of recovery," Maduro said at the summit as he spoke next to Petro.

Petro called for the involvement of the United States, "the country that pollutes the most" on the American continent, while the south of the landmass is "the sponge that absorbs the most CO2."

He said his country will allocate $200 million a year over the next two decades to save the Amazon and appealed for the solidarity of multilateral organizations and big countries in the world.

"One of the issues which could bring consensus between us, Africa and part of Asia is (a mechanism for the) forgiveness of (national) debt (as a means) for (financing) climate action," where the IMF "has a role to play" together with the developed countries of the world, he said.

The two South American leaders celebrated the return of Brazil's leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to power after defeating far-right incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate change denier who was criticized during his term in office for allowing the largest deforestation of the rainforest in years.

"Brazil's entry into this agreement is fundamental and strategic. We have enough strength to propose to the world something positive, not a failure,” said Petro.

Maduro and Petro were the only Latin American leaders who attended this edition of COP27.

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