Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) has officially requested the 2025 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to take place in Belem.
Belem is situated in the Northeastern part of the Amazonas region and Lula already spoke of the idea of bringing COP26 to the Amazonas at the latest COP27 in Egypt in 2022.
Danish independent media, Globalnyt, reports the Brazilian President tweeted he wished to host the largest climate event in the world in a city that is part of the Brazilian Amazon region.
A climate conference in the South American rainforest would have enormous symbolic value. The Amazon rainforest is the largest host of biodiversity in the world and stores tons of CO2 every year.
However, although excited to see the UN Climate Conference in Amazonas, Brazil’s former Minister of Environment, Izavela Teixera, stressed the allocation could cause major challenges especially due to expensive airline fares.
– I am concerned about infrastructure, expenses, digital infrastructure, hotels – everything you need when you’re hosting a conference with 30.000 participants, she said.
Illegal logging, forest fires and livestock production has been the largest drivers of the degradation of the Amazon since the 1970’s. The loss of biodiversity not only affects Brazil, the loss of vegetation in the Amazonas directly reduces precipitation rates across South America and the rest of the world.
The Brazilian government has set the ambitious goal of ending illegal logging and restoring 4,8 million hectares of depleted soil in the Amazon within year 2030.
Nevertheless, the Amazonas is disappearing rapidly and since 2014, the degradation has increased by 60%.
This is due to economic crises and the abolishment of Brazilian environmental regulation and ministerial authority since the election of Jair Bolsonaro in 2018 who, as the first thing he ever did in his presidential reign, enforced reforms debilitating Brazilian Ministers of Environment and programmes aimed at preserving and protecting indigenous people’s rights.