Protecting the Amazon Rainforest Crucial to Climate Success for President-elect Biden

Environmental and human rights organization Amazon Watch recommends steps President-elect Biden can take to protect the Amazon rainforest and our climate

Amazon Watch

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Washington, DC – As various news outlets have reported that Joseph R. Biden has surpassed the 270 electoral vote threshold to secure the U.S. presidency, Amazon Watch is issuing the following statement.

Leila Salazar-López, Amazon Watch Executive Director, said:

"The political and economic interests behind the destruction of the Amazon rainforest – including Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro – are losing a powerful ally with Trump’s election defeat. This is unequivocally good news for the rainforest and her peoples, which are under a sustained assault.

During the debates, Joe Biden spoke out against the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, offering a carrot ($20 billion fund) and stick ("serious economic consequences") approach to reigning in Bolsonaro’s egregious environmental mismanagement. Now President-elect Biden must turn those words into concrete policies and actions, as part of his broader international climate strategy. The environmental justice movement and Congress will need to hold him accountable to those words, ensuring an ambitious approach focused on supporting the Indigenous forest guardians across the region.

Beyond rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, there are many actions the Biden Administration can and should take to protect the Amazon, which is a crucial ecosystem for climate stability. Prioritizing human rights considerations in foreign policy will be important, as frontline Indigenous and other community leaders are running great personal risks to defend the forest. Diplomatic, trade and bilateral aid policies must center human rights, environmental, and climate considerations.

Absolutely crucial to climate and Amazon protection is a hard-hitting approach to the continued investments from Wall St. firms in the very industries causing climate change and furthering Amazon destruction. We expect to see the regulatory agency appointees President Biden selects to fully and concretely address the climate change impacts of the fossil fuel, deforestation-risk, and financial industries, as well as the harm that those investments have caused to frontline communities."

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