Lula attends King Charles’ coronation, secures $100 million from UK for Amazon Fund

By May 8, 2023

São Paulo, Brazil — President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva attended the coronation of King Charles III in London on Saturday, and British officials announced they would make a contribution to the Amazon Fund, which helps support environmental protection of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. 

Last Friday, Brazil’s president also attended a dinner with the King and nine other world leaders at Buckingham Palace and met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

During the meeting, Sunak and Lula agreed on a contribution from the United Kingdom to the Amazon Fund, financial aid from European countries and the United States to combat deforestation in the Amazon Forest. It is the first time that the U.K. will contribute to the fund.

Sunak announced an initial transfer of £80 million, which represents R$500 million (USD $100 million). He said that the decision to contribute to the Amazon Fund is a recognition of the Brazilian government’s work in combating deforestation.

“President Lula has exhibited great leadership on climate change. I’m pleased the U.K. will contribute £80 million to the Amazon Fund, so we can help stop deforestation and protect biodiversity. Thank you for visiting, Mr. President, on this special coronation weekend,” said Sunak.

Lula thanked the British Prime Minister for the contribution and said that this is the time to “restore normality” in relations between Brazil and the U.K. According to the president, there are “many possibilities” for an increase in trade between the two countries.

Last year, bilateral trade moved USD $6.5 billion, an increase of 15% compared to 2021. Brazilian exports to the British reached USD $3.7 billion, but represent less than 2% of the total foreign sales from the country. Imports reached USD $2.8 billion. The U.K. largest investments in Brazil are in the natural resource extraction, financial and transport sectors. 

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Image courtesy of Ricardo Stuckert/PR

Dinner with the King

After meeting with the prime minister, Lula attended a dinner at Buckingham Palace with King Charles III and other world leaders, such as the president of France, Emmanuel Macron. Lula was accompanied by the first lady, Rosângela Janja da Silva.

“The first thing the King told me was to take care of the Amazon,” said Lula. “And I said: ‘I need help, it’s not just our job. I need help and lots of resources’.”

On Saturday, Lula and his wife attended the coronation of King Charles III. Then they returned to Brazil. The government sees the trip to the U.K. as part of the relaunch of Brazil’s diplomatic relations since Lula’s inauguration in January.

Since taking office, the president has visited countries including Argentina, Uruguay, the United States, China, the United Arab Emirates, Portugal and Spain and had meetings with several other world leaders. Lula also confirmed his participation in the G7 summit, a group that brings together the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany and Canada.

Brazil will participate in the external engagement segment, which will take place in the city of Hiroshima, Japan, on May 20 and 21. Among other topics, the G7 external engagement segment will discuss the challenges faced by the international community in areas such as peace and security, health, development, gender issues, climate, energy and the environment.