Biden climate envoy Kerry meets with socialist Brazilian leadership

The U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry was holding his second day of meetings Tuesday with Brazilian government officials, executives and lawmakers to discuss details of planned environmental actions.

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After traveling to capital Brasilia, Kerry met Monday with Brazil’s Vice-President Geraldo Alckmin, Environment Minister Marina Silva and the head of the country’s development bank, which administers the nation’s Amazon Fund. The fund is an international effort to preserve the rainforest, channeling donations to prevent, monitor and combat deforestation while promoting sustainability.

American diplomat and climate envoy John Kerry has spent the past two days meeting with Brazilian leadership. (AP Photo/Gustavo Moreno)

Speaking to reporters after their meeting, both Silva and Alckmin said the U.S. government still needs to negotiate with Congress before it can earmark specific amounts for environmental funding.

“Kerry hasn’t defined any amount, but said he will engage with the American government, Congress and private companies so we have resources not only for the Amazon Fund, but also other initiatives,” Alckmin said.

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Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was in Washington earlier this month with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden. A joint statement issued by both countries said that the U.S. intends to form part of the Amazon Fund, which is majority financed by Norway and also receives support from Germany.

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Kerry was scheduled to meet with Silva again on Tuesday, as well as Sônia Guajajara, the Indigenous Peoples Minister. Guajajara just returned from the remote corner of the Amazon rainforest where British journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira were murdered last year, and where on Monday she announced the government was reinforcing its presence.

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