The victory of Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was celebrated by environmentalists, world leaders, and sustainable investors on Monday, Oct. 31 as he promised to protect the Amazon rainforest and restore Brazil's leadership on climate change, said reports.

During his victory speech, Lula talked about illegal logging, mining, and land grabbing that have driven the surging deforestation of the Amazon over the past four years and pledged to prevent all of it.

Lula said, "Brazil is ready to retake its leadership in the fight against the climate crisis," to a crowd of supporters in Sao Paulo.

"Brazil and the planet need a living Amazon," he added.

Destruction of the Brazilian rainforest became far more severe under Bolsonaroas as it hit a 15-year high. The former president rolled back environmental protections and pushed for more mining and commercial farming in the region.

Bolsonaro's office and the Environment Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

Similar to the Green New Deal that has been suggested in the United States, Lula has promised a significant revamp of environmental policy.

As part of signaling Brazil's renewal of global leadership on climate change, the president-elect would be sending representatives to next week's COP27 United Nations climate summit in Egypt, said Marina Silva, Lula's environmentalist ally.

As Lula will only assume the presidency on Jan. 1 an unofficial delegation will be formed with representatives who are yet to be selected, she added.

Silva said that Brazil would demand rich countries provide financing to poor countries to respond to climate change and give compensation for permanent "loss and damage" from climate change. But international funding will not be a pre-condition to protecting the Amazon, as Bolsonaro's government has signaled.

In an emailed statement on Monday, Oct. 31 Norway's Climate and Environment Minister Espen Barth Eide talked about his country being ready to discuss restarting a fund for Amazon preservation with roughly 3 billion reais ($573 million).

Bolsonaro's government halted the so-called Amazon Fund in 2019 citing unspecified irregularities.

Lula also intends to host a summit in early 2023 with participation from developed countries and Amazon nations who are interested in protecting the forest, said reports.

Climate Change
Representation image. Shutterstock

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