Peru creates environment ministry as glaciers melt

President Alan Garcia has created the first ministry of the environment in Peru, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Scientists say climate change is hitting the Andean country hard; its melting glaciers have just 25 years left until they run dry.

"The environment ministry will … allow us to defend Peru against global warming, the lack of fresh water and glacial destruction,"
Garcia was reported as saying.

Preserving the country’s vast Amazon rainforest plays a valuable role helping to combat climate change by absorbing carbon, the report
added. Garcia called on leaders to create a global reforestation fund financed by a fossil fuels tax.

Mining companies operating in Peru opposed the creation of the ministry. They argued the new agency would slow down existing projects
and discourage new investment in copper, zinc and gold mines in the country, which is a major global minerals producer.

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