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At Climate Summit, Brazil’s Lula Promises New Day for Amazon

SHARM el-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — Six weeks before taking power, Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Wednesday told cheering crowds at the U.N. climate conference that he would crack down on illegal deforestation in the Amazon, revive relationships with countries that finance forest protection efforts and push to host an upcoming world climate summit in the rainforest.

In two appearances, da Silva laid out a vision for management of the world’s largest rainforest, critical to fighting climate change, that was in stark contrast to that of President Jair Bolsonaro, whose administration witnessed some of the most rapid cutting of forests in decades.

“There will be no climate security if the Amazon isn’t protected,” said da Silva, adding that all crimes in the forest, from illegal logging to mining, would be cracked down on “without respite.”

Brazilian presidents have a wide range of powers when it comes to monitoring and regulating the Amazon.