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Americas

Sarkozy to discuss Copenhagen goals with PMs of eight Amazon countries

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-26

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet with the leaders of eight Amazon countries in Manaus to discuss proposals to protect the Amazon rainforest ahead of the environmental summit in Copenhagen.

AFP - The presidents of eight nations straddling the Amazon basin plus France will meet Thursday in the heart of the Amazon rainforest to lay out a save-the-jungle proposal for next month's climate change summit in Copenhagen.
   
Called by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, the biggest stock holder in the Amazon basin, the one-day meeting includes President Nicolas Sarkozy since France's overseas department of French Guyana extends into the Amazon basin.
   
Together with leaders from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Surinam and Venezuela, Lula and Sarkozy hope to draw up a "common stance" for the December 7-18 conference in the Danish capital on saving the Amazon jungle.
   
Lula, who met with Sarkozy two weeks ago in Paris to plan for the summit, hopes that Thursday's meeting in Manaus will yield "an ambitious message on issues of great relevance to the region," his spokesman Marcelo Baubach told reporters.
   
"Brazil believes it is crucial for the (Amazon) region to have a converging and cooperative participation" in the Copenhagen summit, he added.
   
Greenpeace's Amazon official Paulo Adario told AFP that the Lula-Sarkozy alliance was significant "because France has an important leadership role in the European Union and Brazil is also showing growing leadership on the international stage."
   
Centerpiece of the Amazon governments' initiative at the upcoming summit is Brazil's proposal to fight rampant deforestation throughout the Amazon basin with financial help from rich nations.
   
The clearing of wide swaths of jungle for farming and livestock, especially in Brazil, is reducing the planet's capacity to absorb greenhouse gases -- chiefly CO2 -- that contribute largely to global warming and climate change, environmentalists said.
   
As the fourth-largest greenhouse gas producer, Brazil has promised to cut its CO2 emissions by 36-39 percent by 2020. Half that effort will come from reducing deforestation in the Amazon jungle by 80 percent.
   
Brazil this year has managed to curb deforestation to its lowest level in 20 years, but still 7,000 square kilometers (2,700 square miles) of rainforest disappeared.
   
The talks in Copenhagen, under the 192-nation UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, aim to craft a post-2012 pact for curbing the heat-trapping gases that drive global warming.
   
The European Union is pledging to reduce its emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels before 2020, raising the target to 30 percent in the event of an international agreement. Japan has offered 25 percent, with conditions.
   
US President Barack Obama, whose country is one of the world's two biggest polluters along with China, will offer to curb US emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, less than calls by the EU and Japan but still the first US plan to cut carbon emissions.

Date created : 2009-11-26

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