Brazil’s socialist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced on Sunday that his country would never join the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+).
According to Lula, Brazil will refuse to join the group of oil-producing nations as a full member, instead only seeking to participate as an observer.
OPEC is currently made up of 15 countries, which include Algeria, Angola, Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Venezuela.
Brazil is the largest oil producer in South America and the eighth largest oil consumer and producer in the world. The country also has the “largest recoverable ultra-deep oil reserves in the world,” according to the International Trade Administration.
If Brazil 🇧🇷 join OPEC+ it would be the 7th largest producer in the alliance pic.twitter.com/coMsSlsWOg
— Savvy Trader (@SavvyTrader) December 1, 2023
Despite this, Brazil’s far-left president is trying to acquiesce to the demands of the radical climate change activists in his party by distancing himself from OPEC during his recent comments to reporters at the United Nations COP28 climate summit.
"The planet is tired of climate agreements that were not fulfilled"
Brazil's President Lula urges world leaders to take "concrete actions" to fight climate change
— Bloomberg (@business) December 1, 2023
“Brazil should join OPEC+, it could be an observer,” Lula told reporters on Sunday. “Brazil will never be a full member of OPEC, because we don’t want to be. What we want is to influence.”
While he has tried to balance Brazil’s economic interests with his radical socialist climate change agenda, Lula has faced criticism from environmentalists in Brazil and abroad for touting Brazil “as a climate leader thanks to its success in reining in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, while still moving ahead with plans to drill massive offshore oil finds,” according to Reuters.
Lula went on to argue that it is necessary for Brazil to participate in OPEC+, claiming that the country needs to advocate that nations rich from oil proceeds invest some of their profits in helping poor developing countries in Africa and Latin America to invest in renewable energy.
“I think that in participating this way, we will convince people that a part of the money made from oil should be invested for us to nullify oil, creating alternatives,” the Brazilian president claimed. “There is no contradiction.”
He also confirmed that his socialist government’s state-run petroleum company Petrobras would not stop exploring for oil because fossil fuels will remain a part of the global economy for some time — though he did not that Petrobras would begin expanding beyond oil to alternative forms of energy.