(London) Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva revealed on Saturday that King Charles III, a staunch defender of the environment, had personally asked him to “take care of the Amazon”.

Lula and the monarch met at Buckingham Palace on Friday evening, on the eve of the latter’s coronation.

“The first thing the king told me was that I had to take care of the Amazon. I said, ‘I need help,'” the president of the country, which is home to more than 60% of the world’s largest rainforest, told a press conference in London.

On Friday, following a meeting between Lula and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the United Kingdom pledged to contribute 80 million pounds (about 136 million Canadian dollars) to the Amazon Fund, created in 2008 to preserve the forest, of which Norway is the main donor.

The Brazilian president on Saturday urged developed countries to “take the climate issue very seriously.”

As he did in November at COP27 in Egypt, he sharply criticized developed countries for failing to deliver on their 2009 pledge of $100 billion a year for climate change adaptation. climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the poorest countries.

“These countries that destroyed their forests during their industrialization 200 years ago need to understand that they have a debt when it comes to carbon emissions, and they need to pay that debt so that we can preserve our forest,” said- he added.

Under the presidency of his far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro, average annual deforestation in the Amazon has increased by 75% compared to the previous decade.

During the coronation, Lula met briefly with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“I told him we needed to talk about Ukraine, and we agreed to talk about it on the phone,” he said.

He also announced that a close adviser, Celso Amorim, would travel to Ukraine on May 10, following a visit to Moscow last month.

Lula has come under heavy criticism in recent weeks from the West for telling Beijing that responsibility for the conflict was shared between Ukraine and Russia.