Climate diplomacy could help put out Amazon fires

Reports of increased fires in the Amazon rainforest prompt calls for world leaders to condemn the Brazilian government and reconsider trade deals.
  Published:  23 Aug 2019    |      1 minute read

Devastation wrought by a record number of wildfires in Brazil's Amazon region has prompted widespread condemnation of President Jair Bolsonaro's environmental policies, amidst weakened regulations and the worsening climate crisis.

As well as the Amazon itself, this is about the people who live there, and the injustice that this does to them, their livelihoods and their land.

According to Brazilian space research centre INPE, many of the fires have been recorded in areas of increased deforestation. The process of felling and burning land is a known method used by soy and cattle farmers to clear land for increased production.

Meanwhile, the UK Minister of State for International Trade Conor Burns has been in Brazil to discuss post-Brexit trade deals.

But he reportedly said the Brazilian government had "legitimate ambitions to bring prosperity to its people."

Guy Shrubsole, campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said:

"If this is what we are prepared to do to line up trade deals, rather than take a world-stage opportunity to protect the obviously irreplaceable Amazon, you have to wonder where our priorities lie.

"The government needs to be putting the crisis of the Amazon front and centre of any discussions they are having about trade.

"They need to say 'we won’t do a deal with you if you are effectively condoning burning the lungs of the world'."

Demand the EU & UN sanction Brazil to halt increased deforestation of the Amazon