RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday that he did not want the country to host the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25).
In a press conference in the capital Brasilia, Bolsonaro said he asked for the withdrawal of Brazil's candidacy for host of COP25 and recommended that his pick for foreign minister Ernesto Araujo avoid the conference.
"I participated in that decision. I recommended our future minister avoid the realization of this event in Brazil," Bolsonaro said.
Earlier in the day, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry officially confirmed that it had withdrawn from the host city's candidacy, citing persisting financial problems and the presidential transition.
Brazil plays an important role in climate change. It boasts the majority of Amazon rainforest, one of the greatest ecosystems on earth, and, meanwhile, is among the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. The South American country hosted two UN conferences on sustainable development in 1992 and 2012.
However, the new administration is redirecting its environmental policies.
Brazil is a country which preserves its environment the most, but "environmental conservation policies cannot get in the way of development," said Bolsonaro.
Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America. The financial market forecasts the Brazilian economy will grow by 1.36 percent this year, while the government expects the GDP to increase by around 1.5 percent.
"Today the economy is almost working because of agribusiness(es), and they are being suffocated by environmental matters," the president-elect said.
COP25 is expected to take place in November 2019, with a location yet to be determined.