Al Gore, the former US vice president turned environmental activist, responded to the comment made yesterday by Brazilian Minister Paulo Guedes (Economy) that the greatest enemy of the environment is poverty during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
"Today, it is widely understood that the soil in the Amazon is poor. To tell people in Brazil that they are going to get to the Amazon, cut everything and start planting, and that they will have crops for many years, that is to give them false hope," he said. "Yes, there are answers for the Amazon, but this is not the case."
Environmental preservation is one of the axes of the Forum meeting this year, and the Amazon is a focus of concern in a snowless Davos that, in the middle of winter in the Swiss Alps, is enjoying unusually mild temperatures.
"Brazilians have always said that they don't want other people to get involved in the Amazon issue. And that must be respected," pondered Gore before criticizing Guedes' statement.
The Brazilian minister had made the comment during a session on Tuesday (21), whose theme was manufacturing.
Asked by the mediator on how governments could deal with the population's fear of the consequences of climate change, Guedes pointed out poverty as an enemy of the environment and said that Brazil first needed to fix other problems in this equation.
He also recalled that the concerns of those who deforest today could be different from those of those who deforested in the past - an apparent allusion to the clash between emerging and wealthy countries over who should be financially responsible for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon