| 24 July 2024, Wednesday |

EU steps in to boost Amazon rainforest protection plan

Shi Tieniu, a construction worker, purchased a presale apartment in Shaanxi province, northern China, marketed as a “superior product” to be “passed down through generations.”

Eight years later, it is still an incomplete shell, and he must walk 20 flights of stairs every night to sleep in a filthy chamber with no running water, heating, or power.

“I almost never drink water, wash my face, or brush my teeth,” Shi, 39, who relocated to the Gaotie Wellness City complex in May, explained.

“I want to accomplish this as quickly as possible so that my elderly parents have a place to live in their final years… I no longer have any money, I’ve lost my family’s land, and all that remains is this incomplete structure.”

Under the Global Gateway project, the EU pledged in July to invest 45 billion euros in Latin America by 2027 and the scheme will be discussed in more detail on Friday among EU and Latin American finance ministers in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

The ministers are looking to ensure the money is delivered and spent as intended, a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations said, asking not to be named.

In the past, the Commission has been criticised for pledging large amounts of investment to developing regions without any mechanisms to verify that the money was actually disbursed.

Now the Commission will take the lead in coordinating the flow of cash, integrating individual country donations into a donor platform launched by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Friday on the sidelines of the ministers’ meeting.

More than half of global destruction of old-growth tropical rainforests has taken place in the Amazon and bordering forests since 2002. Rainforests, in particular the Amazon, absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide and are key in shaping the Earth’s climate, making them vital to prevent climate change.

  • Reuters