French President Emmanuel Macron unveils immediate 20 million euro G7 fund to battle wild fires engulfing the Amazon rainforest
- Macron has revealed that G7 nations have agreed to 20m euro fire-fighting fund
- The sum will go mainly towards sending fire-fighting aircraft to Brazil rainforest
- G7 members have also agreed to back a proposed reforestation plan
- Move comes amid an increasingly bitter war of words involving Macron and Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro
Emmanuel Macron has unveiled an immediate 20 million euro G7 fund to battle huge wildfires engulfing the Amazon rainforest.
The French President said the G7 club – comprising Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States – had agreed to spend the money mainly on sending fire-fighting aircraft to Brazil.
G7 members also agreed to support a medium-term reforestation plan which will be unveiled at the UN in September, Macron and Chile’s Sebastian Pinera said at the summit in southwest France. Brazil would have to agree to any reforestation plan, as would local communities.
The move comes amid an increasingly bitter war of words involving Macron and Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro over the Amazon crisis.
Emmanuel Macron (pictured today with Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera in Biarritz, France) has unveiled an immediate £18million G7 fund to battle huge wildfires engulfing the Amazon rainforest
G7 members also agreed to support a medium-term reforestation plan which will be unveiled at the UN in September, Macron and Chile’s Sebastian Pinera said at the summit in southwest France
Macron had declared the situation in the Amazon region an ‘international crisis’ and made it one of the summit’s priorities.
He has threatened to block a huge new trade deal between the EU and Latin America unless Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate change sceptic, takes serious steps to protect the forest from logging and mining.
‘We must respond to the call of the forest which is burning today in the Amazon,’ Macron said Monday.
Nearly 80,000 forest fires have been detected in Brazil since the beginning of the year, a little over half in the massive Amazon basin.
The initiative was announced after G7 leaders meeting in the resort of Biarritz held talks on the environment, which focused on the fires destroying chunks of the Amazon
Bolsonaro has lashed out at Macron over his criticism and suggested that NGOs could be setting the fires to embarrass him – without giving any evidence to back the claim.
But at the weekend he finally caved into international pressure to save a region crucial for maintaining a stable global climate, deploying two aircraft to douse the fires and authorising the army to help tackle the blazes.
Speaking in Biarritz, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said new planting was needed ‘to preserve this universal heritage, which is absolutely essential for the well-being of the world’s population.’
He said that the issue would be discussed during the UN General Assembly in New York in September.