French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron

Macron calls for Amazon fires to top G7 summit agenda

ANI | Updated: Aug 23, 2019 15:28 IST

Paris [France], Aug 23 (ANI): Terming fires in the Amazon an "international crisis", French President Emmanuel Macron has said the arsons will be top of the agenda at the G7 Summit.
Brazil has witnessed 72,843 fires this year, half out of which were reported in the Amazon itself, according to CNN. Moreover, a thick cloud of smoke has travelled across the continent. In Sao Paulo, residents were surprised when they saw the sky turn dark in the middle of the day, although the city is 2,500km away from the origin of the fires.
"Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest - the lungs which produce 20% of our planet's oxygen - is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let's discuss this emergency first order in two days!," tweeted Macron on Thursday.
Macron is hosting G7 this year on environment, climate, oceans and on digital transformation in Biarritz.
However, Macron raising the issue did not go well with Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, who alleged the French president to take advantage of what is a domestic issue.
"I regret that president Macron seeks to take advantage of what is a domestic Brazilian issue and of other Amazonian countries for personal political gain," Bolsonaro tweeted, targeting what he called Macron's "sensationalist tone".
In a second tweet, he said: "The French president's suggestion that Amazonian matters be discussed at the G7 without the involvement of countries of the region recalls the colonialist mindset that is unacceptable in the 21st century."
The international community has continued to express their concern over the scale of the fires.
UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said he was "deeply concerned" about their effect on the global climate crisis: "In the midst of the global climate crisis, we cannot afford more damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity."
London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, said the fires were being "aided and abetted by the Brazilian government". The burning of the rainforest was "an act of shocking environmental vandalism with global consequences". (ANI)