US respects Brazils sovereignty says Kerry

US respects Brazil’s sovereignty, says Kerry

The president’s special envoy for US climate says the country wants to work with Brazil

John Kerry, the President’s special envoy for the climate of the United States, said this Thursday (April 20, 2023) that the North American country respects the sovereignty of Brazil. In an interview with GloboNews, Kerry explained that the US also wants to work with Brazil.

“Our expectations are that we work together [com o Brasil] cooperate. We are honest and sincere in working together on this testament. We want to be transparent. We have [Estados Unidos] Respect for the sovereignty of Brazil. Brazil is the key here,” he said.

“We want to work with Brazil. It’s the beginning. We hope it will be a very important trip for Brazil, for Brazilians and for the Amazon climate challenge,” he said.

The North American representative also said the expectation is to work with the Brazilian government.

This Thursday (April 20), US President Joe Biden announced that US$500 million (approximately R$2.5 billion at current exchange rates) will be paid into the Amazon fund over the next 5 years. The information was also released in a White House statement. Here is the full text in English (153 KB).

During President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s (PT) visit to Washington in February, the US government had offered $50 million, ten times less than announced this Thursday (April 20). The offer was considered a political gesture at the time, but it fell short of the Brazilian entourage’s expectations, as he found out Power360.

However, the $500 million can only be released if Biden gets approval from the US Congress. The Democrat has a majority in the Senate but not in the House of Representatives.

The announcement came during a virtual meeting of the Forum of Major Economies on Energy and Climate. Aiming to make commitments to tackle the climate crisis and keep global warming to 1.5°C, the event will be attended by the world’s 26 largest economies, including Brazil. Lula is scheduled to speak at 9:30.

According to the statement, the US government plans to:

  • decarbonize energy Reducing emissions in the energy and transport sectors, increasing the production of clean energy;
  • End deforestation of the Amazon and other critical forests mobilize public, private and philanthropic support;
  • Dealing with nonCO2 climate pollutants launch a methane finance sprint to reduce gas emissions;
  • Progress in carbon management Work with countries to accelerate carbon capture, removal, utilization and storage technologies.

The White House also said the government intends to contribute $50 million to a BTG Pactual initiative. The bank plans to raise $1 billion to help restore 300,000 hectares of degraded land in Brazil, Uruguay and Chile.

Another announced payment is $1 billion to the United Nations (UN) Green Fund for the Climate. This brings the country’s total contribution to $2 billion.

As promised during Lula’s visit to the US, Biden also encouraged other countries to contribute to the Amazon Fund.


The Amazon Fund was established in 2008 with donations from Norway and Germany and a smaller amount from Petrobras. Managed by the BNDES (National Bank for Economic and Social Development), the project attracts donations for biome conservation and monitoring activities.

In April 2019, former President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) suspended the fund by dissolving its advisory and technical committees. In addition, the donor countries deviated from the environmental policy of the previous government.

On November 3, 2022, the STF (Federal Court of Justice) ruled that the government should reactivate the fund within 60 days.

Upon his inauguration as president, Lula signed an executive order reestablishing the Amazon Fund. Federal President FrankWalter Steinmeier immediately announced that the country would provide EUR 35 million (R$ 199.3 million as of January 2, 2023) for the fund.

Today, the Amazon Fund has BRL 3.2 billion in cash.

Brazil & USA

Recently there has been criticism from the United States of Lula’s position on the international stage.

On Monday (April 17, 2023) the US criticized Brazil after President Lula said the country was promoting a war in Ukraine. Speaking to reporters, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Lula “repeats Russian and Chinese propaganda like a parrot without looking at the facts.”

John Kirby also said that Lula’s lines were “deeply problematic”. He claimed that the PT’s comments on Ukraine’s possible cession of Crimea’s territory to Russia were “simply wrong”.

On Tuesday (April 18, 2023), Celso Amorim said it was “absurd to deliver the United States speech” on the Brazilian President.

In a meeting with journalists on April 6 at the Planalto Palace, President Lula said Ukraine should cede territories to Russia in exchange for a peace deal.

“O [presidente da Ucrânia, Volodymyr] Zelensky can’t want everything,” Lula said at the time. On April 7, Zelenskyy released a video saying that “respect and order will only return when the Ukrainian flag returns to Crimea.” He didn’t mention Lula.

The Brazilian President also returned to the issue as he left Beijing, China on Saturday (April 15) after a twoday visit to the Asian country. He said the United States must stop promoting a war between Russia and Ukraine.

“The United States needs to stop promoting war and start talking about peace. The European Union must start talking about peace so that we can convince them [presidente da Rússia, Vladimir] Putin and Zelenskyy that peace interests everyone and war interests only 2,” PT said.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Sunday (April 16), Lula said the war was the fault of Ukraine and Russia.

“I think constructing the war was easier than getting out of the war will be. Because the war decision was made by 2 countries [Rússia e Ucrânia]. And what are we trying to build now? We are trying to build a group of countries that have nothing to do with the war. They don’t want war. Who want to build peace in the world,” Lula said.

On Tuesday (April 18, 2023), US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke by phone with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s (PT) Special Advisor Celso Amorim.

According to the US Embassy in Brazil, the representatives discussed a number of bilateral and global issues, including the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.