From #BoycottBrazil to Amazon at G-7
The reaction of international political leaders to the burning of the Amazon reveals that Brazilian environmental policy may endanger the trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union. And even the export of Brazilian meat.
The tone of criticism rose on Friday. French President Emmanuel Macron accused President Jair Bolsonaro of lying about environmental commitments made at the G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan. The French leader said he opposes the trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur.
The Finnish government, which now holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, has called on the bloc to "urgently" evaluate the suspension of Brazilian beef imports in response to the destruction of the Amazon.
Before that, President Macron had used Twitter to declare that the situation in the Amazon represents an "international crisis". He also argued that the issue should be discussed during the G7 summit on August 24-25 in Biarritz, southwest France. The tweet was endorsed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Bolsonaro, in turn, responded that Macron's comments were "sensationalist" and were an attempt to achieve "personal political gains."
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has also said he will vote against the trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur if Brazil doesn't respect its "environmental commitments". In a statement, he stated concern about record levels of wildfires in the Amazon rainforest.
Other European leaders, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have also advocated international measures to combat the problem in Brazil.
Data from the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) show an 83% increase in the number of forest fires in Brazil between January 1 and August 19, 2019, compared to the same period of 2018.
The devastation in the Amazon is an "irreparable loss," according to Jerônimo Sansevero, a professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences at the Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ). "We have never had such a high loss in the last three decades," he said.
German Prime Minister Angela Merkel also said through a spokeswoman that the Amazon fires are an urgent situation that should be discussed at the G7 meeting.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressed deep concern about the increase in Amazonian burning and the impact of these fires. A government spokesman said Johnson advocated "international action" to protect the world's rainforests.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was another G7 leader supporting the need to discuss the situation internationally. In response to Macron on Twitter, he said he was "totally in agreement" with the Frenchman.
"We worked hard to protect the environment at the G7 last year in Charlevoix, and we need this to continue this weekend. We need to act for the Amazon and act for our planet - our children and grandchildren need us," wrote Trudeau.
In addition to France, Germany, and Canada, they also participate in G7 Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
After the #PrayForAmazonas hashtag was one of the most talked-about Twitter topics around the world on Wednesday (21), social network users use the #BoycottBrazil hashtag to advocate a boycott of Brazilian products.
The messages denounce the Amazon fires, mention that the forest is "the lung of the world", criticize the Brazilian government and say that the only solution is to boycott Brazilian products.
Already the hashtag #ActForTheAmazon has also been by politicians, as in messages from Frenchman Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau.
The states most affected by the fires so far were Mato Grosso and Pará. Amazonas was the third in the ranking of fires this year. Between 2018 and 2019, there was a 146% increase in forest fires.
There were 72,843 burnings this year, compared with 39,759 in this period in 2018. Of this total, among Brazilian biomes, 52.5% were recorded in the Amazon, 30.1% in the Cerrado and 10.9% in the Atlantic Forest. The rest occurred in the Pantanal, Caatinga and Pampa.