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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 05:59 GMT
Brazil scolds rich on environment
By Emilio San Pedro
BBC News

Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva - file photo
President Lula wants rich nations to do more to combat climate change
Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva has accused developed countries of failing to do enough to fight against global warming.

In a speech in Rio de Janeiro, President Lula said it was time for wealthy countries to do more to reduce gas emissions.

He called on them to stop preaching on what to do with the Amazon rainforest.

President Lula said developed nations applied a double standard in their approach to global warming.

The Brazilian president has accused wealthy countries of not doing enough on the environment before, but he has rarely been this direct.

He said they were skilful at drafting agreements and protocols, like the Kyoto treaty, to appear as if they were doing something to reverse dangerous gas emissions.

In practice, however, he said the results proved otherwise.

'World leader'

President Lula was most adamant on the issue of deforestation.

Developed countries, he said, had nothing to teach Brazil on the subject, adding that his country had reduced the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest by more than 50% in the last three years.

Miners clear forest in Brazil's Amazon rainforest
Brazil says it has reduced Amazon deforestation by 50%
This was something which should serve as a lesson to developed countries, which in his words, had already deforested everything under their control.

On the subject of alternative fuels, President Lula described Brazil as a world leader.

And indeed the South American country is the world's largest producer of ethanol made from sugar cane and it has the world's largest fleet of cars that run on alternative fuels.

The Brazilian president said he would be leading an international campaign to highlight the need for wealthy countries to reduce gas emissions.

His comments come a day after the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told a UN conference on the environment that the world's poor, who are the least responsible for global warming, will suffer the most from the effects of climate change.


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