Lula: We Want to Preserve the Amazon, But the US and Europe Have to Pay the Bill

Lula at climate summit in Amazon Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, during a summit of the Amazon presidents, in Manaus, capital of the Amazonas state, sent a very clear message to the world that Brazil does not accept advice from gringos on environment preservation and predicted the Amazon region will grow and develop according to Brazilian needs and aspirations.

Brazil intends to ask at the Copenhagen's summit that the richer countries pay for ecologically sustainable development projects in the Amazon.

Alongside the president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy and Bharrat Jagdeo, Guiana's president, the only chiefs of state besides Lula to participate in the Summit of the Amazon Countries and France on Climate Change, the Brazilian president said the preparation for the Copenhagen's summit  is a time of "collective responsibility" and compared the event to the construction of the Great Wall of China.

"We are not going to repair our historical mistakes in just a few years. It will take a few decades. Copenhagen is an extraordinary beginning, it is as if we were building the China's Wall. The wall is long, exhausting, but someone had to lay the first stone. We are making of Copenhagen the possibility of us building the first step for establishing a more responsible policy to look after the planet," the president stated.

And he went on: "It looked as if the Copenhagen meeting would be diminished in importance, that no chief of state was going to take part. Today, the United States has already a number to reduce greenhouse gases, it's not what I would like to see, but it already has a number. China is also presenting a number and we are here discussing among us," he said.

For Lula, rich and poor countries have different responsibilities: "The poorer countries have to get financial help, not to prevent the development of these countries, but in order for them to be able to develop and  have the standard of living of developed countries," he added.
 
According to the Brazilian leader, the Brazilian goal of greenhouse reduction being taken by Brazil to the Copenhagen's Climate Conference shows Americans and Europeans that Brazil is much more serious about tackling global warming than they are. 

"We have just made a proposal that we are going to take to Copenhagen. We will take on the commitment of reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases between 36.1% and 38.9%. We want to show our American and European friends that here in Brazil we talk less and do more," he said.

"We are not like those who say, "I kill the snake and I show the stick". Now, he who kills the snake and shows the stick didn't show the dead snake. Here, we kill the snake and show the little beast dead. But nowadays certainly this "killing the snake" is just a wordplay. We won't kill the poor little creature who is not harming anyone," he joked.

Lula also criticized the international community for demanding that Brazil preserve its forests. And talked about the future of the state of Amazonas:

"That state is not going to be seen only as the state of the Manaus Free Trade Area any more and it will make money through the preservation of its forest. Don't let any gringo tell us to let an Amazon resident starve to death under a tree. We want to preserve, but they will have to pay the bill of this preservation since we haven't brought down our forest like they did with theirs a century ago. We want to enjoy it correctly."

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