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

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

Bolsonaro has presided over a surge in deforestation since taking office in 2019

Bolsonaro said on August 30, 2021, that the US government, which he defined as 'more left-wing' has 'almost an obsession' with the environment that "gets a little bit in the way' of Brazil. Credit: AFP Photo

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Monday his American counterpart Joe Biden's administration had "almost an obsession" with environmental issues, which he said was hurting US-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, the far-right leader dubbed the "Tropical Trump," 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.

Bolsonaro, 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.

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