BRASILIA, Sep 24 (Reuters) President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said to day that he will defend Brazil's record on global climate change when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly this week.
Brazil is one of the world's largest carbon gas emitters, due largely to the destruction of the Amazon rain forest.
But Lula said Amazon deforestation had fallen 25 per cent in the year through July 2006, preventing carbon emissions of 410 million tons. The former factory worker will speak at the opening of the annual U.N. general assembly in New York tomorrow.
''We have good numbers to show at this meeting,'' Lula said during his weekly radio address.
Lula said the figures showed Brazil was making substantial progress in preserving forests.
''I'm convinced Brazil has a contribution to make in any global debate,'' he added.
Critics have said that Lula waves the ''green banner'' abroad but at home promotes environmentally-unfriendly infrastructure projects and refuses to adopt targets to reduce deforestation and carbon emissions.
The popular former union leader is one of 12 world leaders invited by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to a private dinner today night to discuss climate change.
REUTERS GT RK2035