The Amazon Does not Need Charity
The Amazon Does not Need Charity; it Requires a Change from Public Debt to Climate Action, said President Petro at the Davos Forum.
The Head of State emphasized that the Amazon needs $2.5 billion annually to revitalize the already deforested areas.
“The Amazon rainforest is worth more than the oil that is there inside. It is life. Oil is death,” he emphasized.
Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2024
President Gustavo Petro Urrego stressed that to save the Amazon rainforest, a significant injection of resources in the order of $2.5 billion annually is needed, which implies a shift from public debt to climate action and not charity.
“We need a flow of approximately $2.5 billion per year to achieve the revitalization of the already deforested space and to maintain, over the years, the construction of a bioeconomy, that is, an economy with the forest and not against the forest, which implies sustaining it,” he indicated.
The president, participating in the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, stated that Colombia can finance the climate action needed for the Amazon to save this vital ecosystem for the planet.
“For the Colombian case, what we propose is not cooperation. What we propose is that we can finance the climate action needed for the forest ourselves, but for that, we need to release our own resources in the amount of $2.5 billion per year,” he explained.
He added that “if the global financial system is not affected, there are no mechanisms to finance the climate action needed.”
The above, reiterated the Head of State, must be done by changing debt for climate action, i.e., by reforming the global financial system.
“It’s not charity; it’s a powerful mechanism for financing climate action that on a universal scale implies a change in the global financial system. Brazil proposed to us, in exchange for our proposal, to issue special drawing rights at the IMF (International Monetary Fund),” he stated.
The point of no return
President Petro pointed out that if the Amazon rainforest is not saved, it means a point of no return for humanity, considering the pollution levels due to hydrocarbon exploitation in developed countries.
“Today we have a huge CO2 chimney in North America and a sponge in the South that partially consumes, absorbs that CO2. If the forest is finished, there is nothing more to do. We enter what is called the point of no return. That’s why the Amazon rainforest is not just a strategic word. The word is vital for the human species,” he emphasized.
The president asserted that the Amazon rainforest is threatened by destructive activities such as oil exploitation, illegal mining, and large-scale livestock farming.
“The Amazon rainforest is worth more than the oil that is there inside. It is life. Oil is death. That simple. But to do it, we have to reduce emissions from the chimneys in the north, and we have to change the global financial system to allow the release of resources from countries around the planet so that they can be dedicated to climate action,” he said.
The president participated in the panel titled “Seeking a Balance for the Amazon” within the World Economic Forum meeting.
The panel included, along with President Petro, Brazilian businessman and TV host Luciano Huck; Brazil’s Minister of Environment, Marina Silva; the governor of the Brazilian state of Pará, Helder Barbalho; the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Ilan Goldfajn; and Fany Kuiru, from the Huitoto people of the Colombian Amazon, an expert in legal and policy advice in negotiation processes.
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