At the end of an “Amazon Summit”, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva forbade lectures on environmental protection from the industrialized countries.

“We cannot accept green neocolonialism that introduces trade barriers and discriminatory measures under the guise of environmental protection and ignores our national regulations and policies,” Lula said at the meeting in the Brazilian Amazon metropolis of Belém.

The host of the summit had previously criticized the additional declaration requested by Brussels on the planned free trade agreement between the European Union and the South American economic alliance Mercosur. Such a declaration on climate, environment and human rights would interfere in the internal affairs of the Mercosur states of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay and would slow down their economic development.

Lula called on the industrialized countries to make their own contribution to climate and environmental protection. “The richest 10 percent of the world’s population controls more than 75 percent of the wealth and emits almost half of all the carbon that enters the atmosphere. The environmental and ecosystem services that tropical forests provide to the world must be fairly and equitably rewarded .”

The Amazon rainforest is considered a CO2 store and has an important function in the international fight against climate change. On the second day of the summit, the South American riparian states sought to join forces with other African and Asian countries rich in rainforests. The meeting was also attended by representatives from Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Countries want to take more action against deforestation

In a joint statement, the countries confirmed their intention to step up the fight against deforestation. At the same time, they called on the industrialized countries to provide 100 billion US dollars (about 91 billion euros) per year for climate protection in developing countries, as promised. “That promise was never implemented. And now it no longer meets current needs,” said Lula. So by 2030, $200 billion a year should be due.

On Tuesday, the heads of state and government of the Amazon countries met for the first time in 14 years to discuss environmental protection and sustainable development. The final declaration agreed to establish an Amazon Alliance against deforestation, a joint air traffic control system against organized crime and closer cooperation in the areas of science, finance and human rights. Critics complained that there were no binding targets.

“The statement does not contain any clear actions to respond to the crisis the world is facing. There are no targets or deadlines for ending deforestation, nor is there any mention of ending oil production in the region should,” said Greenpeace Brazil director Leandro Ramos. “Without these actions, Amazon countries will not be able to change their current predatory relationship with the forest, its biodiversity and its inhabitants.”