G7 summit: Macron wants to set burning rainforest on agenda
The French president warns that the forest fires in the Amazon are an emergency. The Brazilian leader accuses him of "colonialist mentality".
French President Emmanuel Macron wants to put the massive forest fires in the Amazon region on the agenda of the G7 summit in Biarritz this weekend. "Our house is burning, literally," wrote Macron on Twitter for a photo of the burning rainforest. The fires were an international crisis, Macron said. He called on the leaders of the seven major industrialized nations to discuss "this emergency" as the first item at the Summit on Saturday.
The Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro threw him then on Twitter before a "colonialist mentality" because he wanted to talk about the crisis, without the countries of the Amazon region are.
The ultra-right-wing president also accused Macron of wanting to "instrumentalize" an "internal" affair of Brazil and other states in the Amazon to gain "personal political profit."
In Brazil, the heaviest forest fires are raging for years now. Extinguishing is difficult because there are only a few roads in the area and therefore the forces have to use boats to navigate rivers.
The fire has caused concern worldwide. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was "deeply concerned" about the fires on Thursday. "In the midst of the global climate crisis, we can not afford to harm a major source of oxygen and a place of biodiversity," he wrote on Twitter.
The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was also affected. "My thoughts are with those affected, our war against nature must come to an end," she tweeted.
Allegations against NGOs
Meanwhile, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro accused the press of having distorted his statements about environmentalists as a possible cause of the Amazon's heavy forest fires, but reiterated his suspicions at the same time.
"Anyone could be behind the forest fires," Bolsonaro told journalists in Brasilia, "but the main suspects come from NGOs," he added. On Wednesday, the ultra-right leader had said he was going from arson. He suspects a "criminal action" by environmental organizations with the aim of harming him and his government.
Environmentalists dismissed the allegations in a protest on the sidelines of a UN climate conference in the city of Salvador as absurd. The fires are the result of a "policy of environmental destruction and support for the agricultural industry," said Camila Veiga of the Brazilian Federation of Non-Governmental Organizations.
For the environmentalists Bolsonaro is guilty
Environmentalists see a strong increase in deforestation as the reason for the increase in forest fires in the Amazon region. The WWF pointed out that "using fire" is one of the "tree clearing techniques".
Prosecutors in the state of Para now want to initiate investigations. In view of the increasing destruction of the jungle, it is about investigating whether environmental protection has been neglected, the law enforcement agency said.