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Saturday, August 24, 2019

UK Government must step up to protect the Amazon

In many ways, establishing who is to blame for the current climate change crisis being created in the Amazon is less important than the need for united, prompt and effective action to deal with the fires that have created it.

Researchers in Brazil have detected more than 70,000 fires in the Amazon so far this year – an 84 per cent increase on last year – with many thought to have been deliberately started by agribusiness firms seeking to open up land for ranching.

French President, Emmanuel Macron has described the situation as an international crisis, tweeting: “Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rainforest — the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen — is on fire.”

Labour have said that the UK is “complicit” in the catastrophe and has urged the prime minister to tell Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro that the “reckless destruction” of his country’s vital natural resource must stop.

They believe that the Brazilian president had “allowed and indeed encouraged these fires to take place, to clear the forest in order that the land can then be used for … short-term agriculture production, and after that it becomes desert”. And have highlighted a recent visit to the country by trade minister Conor Burns, in which he was pictured raising a champagne glass with counterpart Marcus Troyjo, who has defended Bolsonaro’s policy of developing the Amazon region as an “intelligent use of the country’s natural resources”.

Although, the Prime Minister has backed Macron, it does not help when his government are sending mixed messages in this way. The Amazon may well lie within the territorial borders of Brazil, but it is a world-wide resource that needs international protection.

Words are not enough, if Brazil does not listen then we should be imposing sanctions on them and shunning them on the international stage. They cannot expect to trade with the rest of the world when they are threatening its very future.
Policies are being discussed as to ways of sorting out the problems of the consequences of burning and why countries do it to help their economies. However I have noted that In UN climate statutes a paragraph on ECOCIDE (re like genocide) was left out. Presumably cos those involved did not think that the human race could kill itself off when we live in the ONLY home we have.
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