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Environmental connections to public health >>

Brazilian President Lula admonishes developed countries on climate change

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva has stepped up his allegations against developed countries, demanding that they take a larger role against climate change. President Lula’s accusations followed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s announcement that poor nations will be the most affected by climate change. Countries in Africa and small islands have contributed the least to this problem, but will most likely carry the brunt of the result, leaving the island with flooded shores and Africa with an expanding Sahara desert.

Lula pointed out the United States’ willingness to aid in writing legislation, but rarely enacting it. Kyoto is such an example. While the United States was a firm supporter and contributor to this protocol, President Bush withdrew US participation. His belief that developing countries should be held more accountable is clearly flawed. Lula and others point out that the United States makes the argument that developing countries are destroying their forests; however, the US and other developing countries have already used these resources to gain their developed position they now maintain. In contrast, Brazil, a developing country, has the largest number of alternative fuel cars and produces the largest amount of sugar cane ethanol in the world while the US has only begun its discussion on alternative fuels.

While President Lula has mentioned his discontent frequently, this speech has been much more upfront. Today he has called to action a global campaign holding rich, developed countries to their climate change promises.

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