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Brazilians Divided: Chief of Delegation Pans Former Minister

December 15th, 2009
Dilma Rousseff

Dilma Rousseff and Lula

In response to a proposal by Brazilian former Environment minister and senator Marina Silva, minister Dilma Rousseff, president Lula’s chief of staff and the head of the Brazilian delegation at the COP-15 in Copenhagen, said that such a contribution of 1 billion reais (US$ 571 million) as suggested by Silva for an international climate fund wouldn’t mean a thing.

Rousseff used the Brazilian expression “nem faz cosquinha,” which means literally it doesn’t even tickle. Marina Silva is among the 700 Brazilians in Copenhagen, making for the world’s largest delegation at the global warming meeting.

The Green party senator suggested that Brazil should participate in a fund to finance actions against global warming in poor countries as a way to “ethically embarrass” the rich countries compelling them to also contribute. “Brazil, which has loaned funds to the IMF, can pitch in with 1 billion. It could be more and I wouldn’t be saddened by that,” said Silva.

“1 billion are a pittance,” argued Rousseff. “The values are around US$ 120 billion, US$ 150 billion. There are talks of US$ 500 billion,” said Dilma, “We can not just make a gesture. What we need are real, practical, committed, measures,” added the minister.

The governor of São Paulo, José Serra, from the opposition party PSDB, also defended the idea that Brazil loan money to the poorest countries.

“Brazil should help,” the governor said, “because if Brazil is willing to do it, and it is a developing country, this will undoubtedly increase the political pressure on developed countries, which are the ones responsible for the world’s big pollution, which are the main culprits for the greenhouse effect. This will bring pressure for them to present substantial resources,” continued Serra.

The chief of staff warned other members of the delegation to be careful not to fall into what she called “simply market-based easy proposals.” “We are dealing here something serious, the protection of the environment,” she added.

Rousseff called the boycott staged by the African delegations during the Monday negotiations a “bucket of cold water on attempts to manipulate the version” of an agreement in Copenhagen.

Dissatisfied representatives of the group G77/China, which includes Brazil, India, South Africa, China and several of the poorest countries in the world, suspended the meeting for hours.

Dilma believes that the idea of focusing exclusively on a new agreement like most rich countries had been advocating should be forgotten. Instead she thinks the delegations should work in parallel on an extension of the Kyoto Protocol,

“Today, this story of a sole deal almost caused a revolution. If you respect both paths, anything is possible. If you don’t respect both paths we will not get anything,” she stated.

In an unexpected anticipation of his trip President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva embarks this Tuesday, December 15, at 8 am, to Copenhagen to join the Brazilian delegation. He should arrive at the Danish capital at about 2 am. on Wednesday.

The president’s agenda is still not defined. During his stay in Copenhagen the Brazilian leader is expected to have at least two meetings already confirmed: one with China and the Ibsa group (India, Brazil and South Africa) and another with French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

http://www.brazzilmag.com


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