WORLD / AMERICAS
Brazil firms, NGOs urge US to create $9b forest fund
Published: May 12, 2022 04:35 PM
Officials from Para State, northern Brazil, inspect a deforested area in the Amazon rain forest during surveillance on September 22. Photo: AFP

Officials from Para State, northern Brazil, inspect a deforested area in the Amazon rain forest during surveillance on September 22. Photo: AFP

Hundreds of Brazilian companies and environmental groups urged US President Joe Biden to make good on US climate pledges as lawmakers in Washington prepared to debate a measure Thursday on launching a $9 billion anti-deforestation fund.

The AMAZON21 bill, aimed at helping developing countries protect their forests, "would represent an important expression of commitment by President Biden and the US Congress regarding the fight against climate change by targeting one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions," the Brazilians wrote in a letter to Biden and congressional leaders.

The US House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold hearings Thursday on the legislation, introduced after Biden promised at the UN climate summit in Glasgow in November 2021 to provide that amount to fund projects that fight deforestation.

Home to around 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil is a key player in the battle to stop the advancing destruction of the world's forests, which is accelerating global warming by turning them from carbon absorbers to carbon sources.

The letter, dated Tuesday, highlighted recent studies finding that more than three-quarters of the Amazon has been losing its resilience since the start of this century, and that the world's biggest rainforest is approaching a "tipping point."

The document was signed by a broad-based list of 23 coalitions representing more than 300 companies and organizations, ranging from agribusiness firms that are themselves accused of fueling deforestation to environmental and indigenous-rights groups.

AFP