Britain pledges $100 mn for Brazil's Amazon Fund
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged more than $100 million Friday for Brazil's fund to protect the Amazon rainforest, at a meeting with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ahead of King Charles III's coronation.
"Beyond football, there are so many interests we have in common... (including) combatting climate change," Sunak told Lula as they met at 10 Downing Street in London.
"I'm delighted to announce we will be investing in your Amazon Fund, and I pay tribute to your leadership on this issue," Sunak added.
The British contribution to the fund will be £80 million ($102 million), aimed at stopping deforestation and saving the region's rich biodiversity, said a Downing Street spokesman.
The investment is the latest diplomatic win for Brazil as it seeks to get wealthy nations to help bankroll the fight to save the world's biggest rainforest.
Launched in 2008 during Lula's first presidency with a $1-billion commitment from Norway, the Amazon Fund was suspended under far-right climate-sceptic former president Jair Bolsonaro.
Lula, who beat Bolsonaro at the polls to return to power in January, revived the fund on his first day in office.
He has been lobbying fellow world leaders to contribute in the name of saving the Amazon, a key resource in the race to curb climate change.
US President Joe Biden announced $500 million for the fund last month -- though the financing will have to be approved in Congress, a potentially tough battle.
And Germany pledged 200 million euros to protect the rainforest in January, including 35 million euros for the Amazon Fund.
Veteran leftist Lula has been hammering home the message that "Brazil is back" as a partner in the fight against climate change, after average annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon increased by more than 75 percent under Bolsonaro from the previous decade.
Lula is one of a string of world leaders and royals in town for Saturday's coronation ceremony, Britain's first in 70 years.