Macron has his eyes set on Latin America for the development of renewable energies.

At the beginning of this year French president, Emmanuel Macron visited Brazilian President Lula da Silva, marking the first trip to South America by a French president since 2017. During Jair Bolsonaro’s administration, there were several disagreements, but now strategic cooperation is searching light. Brasil, the world’s ninth-largest economy and the leading power in Latin America, plays a crucial role in this renewed partnership.

The southern country is the largest importer of French goods in Latin America and the second-largest destination for French investments among developing countries. In 2023, bilateral trade between Brasil and France reached 9 billion USD, with the european country enjoying a trade surplus of 410 million USD. On his first day in Brasil, Macron attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Brazil’s third diesel-powered submarine using French technology, part of a 10 billion USD contract signed in 2008. This partnership has strengthened Brasil’s determination to realize its strategic autonomy amid global crises. Both countries share a common vision of building strategic autonomy, with future cooperation between Mercosur and the EU in sight.

During his visit to the Amazon, Macron made several promises, including pledging millions of euros in public and private investment over four years to preserve the Amazon. He emphasized the importance of promoting carbon markets in the Amazon, allowing companies to buy credits to offset their emissions, with the funds used to combat deforestation. France recognizes the potential of exploring Brazil’s biodiversity and has promised to support economic transformation rather than only conservation.

Back on time, tensions with Bolsonaro’s administration were high due to massive fires in the Amazon, which Macron blamed on Bolsonaro, accusing him of causing an ecocide. The G7 pledged money to help extinguish the Amazon fires, which Bolsonaro criticized as colonialist intervention, claiming the Amazon is not the world’s lungs. Under Lula da Silva, Brazil previously reduced deforestation by 80%, but the recent surge in deforestation poses severe threats to the region and its biodiversity.

What we can expect for the future is an economic commitment of 100 million euros from Macron to protect global forests and promote biodiversity markets, with an additional 1 billion euros declared at the Belém Climate Summit in 2025. France is the only European country with Amazonian territory and shares a border with Brazil through French Guyana, emphasizing its interest in the region’s ecological health. This year, 112 illegal gold mining sites were discovered, deforesting an estimated 100 hectares of forest, highlighting ongoing environmental challenges.

The upcoming European elections this month could significantly impact international policies, with 27 EU countries renewing the European Parliament. The EU-Mercosur free trade agreement includes European commitments to environmental standards as part of the Green Deal, aiming for sustainable economic transformation. Europe is investing 300 billion euros globally through the Global Gateway initiative to foster sustainable development, with 45 billion euros allocated to Latin America.

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