Brazil president says Joe Biden’s Amazon rainforest comments ‘disastrous’

Mr Biden said foreign countries should give Brazil £15.5 billion to stop Amazon deforestation, but the country should face consequences if it fails.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has attacked US presidential candidate Joe Biden for saying that the South American nation should suffer “significant economic consequences” if devastation of the Amazon rainforest continues.

Mr Biden said during a debate with President Donald Trump, an ally of Mr Bolsonaro, that foreign countries should give Brazil 20 billion US dollars (£15.5 billion) to stop Amazon deforestation, and that the country should face consequences if it fails.

The Brazilian leader has insisted on economic development of the region, drawing condemnation from environmentalists, climate scientists and foreign leaders who say the forest is an important carbon sink and must remain standing to achieve climate change goals.

Former US vice president Joe Biden
Former US vice president Joe Biden (AP/Patrick Semansky)

“The greed that some countries have over the Amazon is a reality,” Mr Bolsonaro said on Twitter. “But the confirmation by someone who is fighting for the command of his country clearly signals that he wants to give up a cordial and profitable coexistence.”

Mr Bolsonaro has repeatedly accused unnamed imperialist forces of trying to take over the Amazon, which harkens back to the stance of the 1964-1985 military dictatorship.

Mr Bolsonaro also labelled Mr Biden’s comments as “regrettable” as well as “disastrous and gratuitous”.

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