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Brazil’s Bolsonaro dismisses UN climate summit as a ‘commercial game’ – Mocks Europe for not ‘reforesting’

Rio de Janeiro (AFP)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate change skeptic, on Sunday dismissed as a “commercial game” the result of the COP25 climate talks in Madrid.

He particularly singled out rich European nations as the players.

Brazil was meant to host this year’s global climate meeting but withdrew its offer more than a year ago, citing financial restrictions shortly after Bolsonaro’s election.

“I don’t know why people don’t understand that it’s just a commercial game,” Bolsonaro told reporters outside his official residence.

Blaming wealthy countries, he said, “I’d like to know: has there been a resolution for Europe to be reforested, or are they just going to keep bothering Brazil?”

Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for easing restrictions on exploiting the Amazon’s vast riches, leading to accelerated deforestation.

Brazil’s Environment Minister Ricardo Salles, who participated in COP25, also criticized its results.

On Twitter, he said, “Rich countries did not want to pay up.”

Salles particularly regretted a lack of progress on carbon markets.

Brazil and Australia are among the countries that want to count carbon credits accumulated under a previous climate deal as part of their commitments under the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

Discussions over markets ended in an impasse Sunday, and the issue will be handed over to next year’s COP26 in Glasgow.