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LATIN AMERICA | 30-08-2021 22:03

Bolsonaro takes dig at Biden's 'obsession' with Amazon

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro accuses Joe Biden's administration of having "almost an obsession" with environmental issues.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Monday his US counterpart Joe Biden's administration had "almost an obsession" with environmental issues, which he said was hurting United States-Brazil relations.

"Obviously, the Biden government is more of a left-wing administration, it's a government that has almost an obsession with the environmental issue," Bolsonaro said in a radio interview.

"That has gotten in the way a little."

Bolsonaro has sparred with Biden since the latter was a presidential candidate over his calls to better protect the Amazon rainforest, a vital resource in the race to curb climate change.

The far right leader,, who has pushed to open protected forest land to agribusiness and mining, has presided over a surge in deforestation since taking office in 2019.

In the 12 months through July, a total of 8,712 square kilometres (3,364 square miles) of forest cover – an area nearly the size of Puerto Rico – was destroyed in the Brazilian Amazon, according to official figures.

However, Bolsonaro defended his country's record.

"Brazil is the country that most preserves its environment," he said.

– AFP

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