Even the “chump change” was rejected. One of the few concrete measures to come out of the August 2019 G7 meeting in France was the offer of funds to Amazonian countries to fight forest fires. Environmental campaigners had labelled the €20 million offer “chump change” (particularly when compared to over €1 billion given after the Notre Dame cathedral blaze). Brazil, however, has rejected the offer.

Several EU Member States, including France, Germany, Ireland, and Luxembourg, have threatened to block an EU trade deal with South American countries in the Mercosur trade bloc (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) over the issue. Relations between Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and French President Emmanuel Macron, in particular, have hit a low point.

How bad is the problem? There has been an 80% increase in fires in the Amazon since 2018, and this year has seen the highest number of fires in a decade. However, 2019 is not the worst year on record, and the number of fires in the early-2000s was even higher. Nevertheless, deforestation in the Amazon (which includes clearing land and burning dead trees to fertilise the soil for farmland) has accelerated dramatically under Bolsonaro.

Is there anything Europe can do about it? Exchanging threats and insults doesn’t seem to be having an effect. Some have pointed out that EU countries are among the top consumers of Brazilian beef in the world, so it is hypocritical to put all the onus on Brazil to change its behaviour.

Should Europe put more pressure on Brazil over the Amazon fires? Or are European countries acting with a “colonialist” mentality? Was the offer of €20 million to fight Amazon fires just “chump change”? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll talk to policmakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: (c) BigStock – Alexpunker


45 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Uli

    Its just used for populist attacks afterwards. Its an issue for the civil society

  2. avatar
    Wasim

    Should Amazon rainforest be international land?
    That would be a better question
    Because let’s face it, Brazil is poor country more pressure without capabilities with corruption will do nothing but worst on who ever good left

  3. avatar
    Civis

    Yes, absolutely. The Brazilian government must understand that all countries are interconnected in the face of climate change.

  4. avatar
    Panayiotis

    sanctions over all Brazilian products

  5. avatar
    João

    Well, Bolivia side of Amazon is on fire for 3 weeks now, also. I do not see any reaction from the EU and other countries regarding that. The only thing i see is not an environmental preoccupation but more of a political reaction based on ideology.
    This is what is wrong with environmental politics theses days – it’s all ideology and power.

  6. avatar
    Paul

    Yes a lot more. Not much pressure had been put on the country so far.

  7. avatar
    Olivier

    EU should çancell mercosur agreement… They will sell more beef and destroy more forests

  8. avatar
    Nikola

    Europe should first solve the problems with deforestation, recycling and oil consumption in Europe. There are enough of these. Only then it can give pressure to others.

  9. avatar
    Paul

    There’s been a huge anount of hypocrisy with all the apocalyptic statements emanating from celebrities who fly around the world. … ….the Amazo is NOT the lungs of the world. …whilst deforestation is a serious issue, the greater damage to the world’s biomass has been from the fires raging in the Siberian Tiaga for the last months (where 30%of the world’s trees are found )…but where’s the outrage over this
    The 25 million dollars offered by the G7 equates to about 0.00006% of their combined gdp (about 34 trillion)…so obviously not a serious issue…works out at around 300$ per fire….if I were Bolosario I would take it & donate it to charity !

  10. avatar
    Joanna

    In the form of economic sanctions, not financial aid.

  11. avatar
    Rumy

    Why does the EU think Europe has the right to put pressure on other countries i.e Brazil and China? Is the EU some sort of an international police and responsible for everything?

    • avatar
      Bódis

      It’s the globalist mentality: “obey, or else”.

    • avatar
      Antonio

      Because, as citizens, we can boicot through our institutions other countries due to their behaviour. Everyone act as they think it is the right thing to do.

    • avatar
      Jules

      Because it is in our interest to have access to oxygen.

    • avatar
      Wasim

      As matter of fact, you are asking a very true and legitimate question, that i can’t see clear answer to it in the previous replay
      But let we put it like this, Brazil is poor country, Europe can support it, Brazil needs that support, Europe have some legitimate interest there which doesn’t confront with Brazil interest (protecting Amazon rainforest for example)
      So as long as there is mutual benefit that would be fine, once Europe or any other country (US for instance) start to damage Brazil then it’s your fully right to raise your voice against it
      But still, it’s your right to question and investigate, and it was truly good question

    • avatar
      Theodoros

      That’s how the world works nowadays. If leaders are completely irresponsible the EU has the right to put pressure on certain subjects like climate change, or extreme violence. The same thing any country or organization does.
      What happens in the Amazon or in the Arctic or wherever, has consequences to anyone on Earth, and thus anyone on Earth has the right to put pressure on anyone else. It’s not like the EU gonna send the army to overthrow th e Brazilian government.

    • avatar
      Simona

      Various European countries have been paying the Brazilian government many millions for the past few years in order for Brazil to protect its rainforest. The new Brazilian government was/is very happy to accept that money, but has decided it no longer wants to protect its rainforest. Unfortunately they did not inform said countries that they would no longer be protecting the rainforests, but wish to use that land for other purposes do the donations should stop. If you were paying for a service, then you don’t get it wouldn’t you be annoyed?

    • avatar
      Joanna

      The entire international community should join efforts to preserve what’s left of our small planet, already heavily impacted by human action! The next habitable planet is light years away, not yet found and not yet existent! Think globally, not nationally, we are one kind – the human kind.

    • avatar
      Pedro

      We get to chose who we buy stuff from and the EU is the biggest market in the world.
      If you do stuff we disagree with, we just don’t buy from you. It’s the free market working!

    • avatar
      Demetris

      Dude, obey or else what?
      I think we need oxygen and a habitable planet no matter where we live on the globe. The whole of earth gets affected by the amazon fires it’s got nothing to do with the ‘globalist mentality’ you mentioned.

    • avatar
      Παυλος

      Rumy, if we want act, ones Amazon has been completely destroyed we are going to suffocate – literally

  12. avatar
    Bódis

    European countries should plant more trees, otherwise this is hypocrisy. Europe used to be covered in forests and most of it was cut off to gain land for agriculture.

    • avatar
      Antonio

      Yeah, two thousands years ago.
      We also used to wage wars every day. Should people kill each other because Europe did it?

  13. avatar
    Ecs

    Yes, but only political pressure

  14. avatar
    Anatilde

    We should be planting trees.

  15. avatar
    Gunter

    yes…. let DumbTrump invate them

  16. avatar
    Jakub

    Europe needs to trsnslate all the emissions from tree cutting, conversion of land to agricilture for meat production into meat prices. Meat is too cheap considering the harm. 1.5billion cows roam this world, consuming more than 1/3 of crops. Then we can not only pressure it politically, but also changing the consumer habits plus plant new trees from the enviro-lux tax

  17. avatar
    Nancy Verrees

    I don’t even know wether it is usefull to put money in it. Will the money be used to taccle the fires. More important would be to put pressure on president Bolsonaro. Banning the import of products from there causses only poverty. Will there ever be a propper solution to taccles Amazon deforestation.

  18. avatar
    Victor

    Europe is a continent. With many countries.
    EU is a fascist regime.

  19. avatar
    Luis

    Well Brazilians worship and idolize the fascist corrupt monster they elected as president, so maybe we should respect them by voicing our opinion boicoting their products , but as individuals.

  20. avatar
    Manuel

    Yes put more pressure on it and Europe must ask more land of the Amazon forest, because Europe only has 83 thousands square kilometres of the Amazon forest,
    certainly that is not enough !
    we wont more, much more !
    we only stop the pressure when the Brazilian will give us, at least 1 million of square kilometre…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Guianas

  21. avatar
    Joanna

    Amazon forest is not “trees” it’s a 10k years old ecosystem which can never be restored. So if by any chance there were space in Europe to grow a forest, it still can’t become a jungle. We can never substitute what this one man will destroy to enrich his party.

  22. avatar
    Zoltan

    Honestly,the hypocrisy of you people stinks,it is not the Brazilian government that has caused climate change or poisoned the environment,it’s the industrialised world,basically it’s us.Until we are prepared to stop driving cars or flying in planes,shut down all nuclear and coal fired power stations then we are in no position to lecture other nations.

  23. avatar
    Παυλος

    Europe can’t place pressure at Turkey that violenting her borders land and sea
    What makes you think that can do so on the other side of the planet ???

  24. avatar
    Manuel

    only if EU do the same, over the fires in África, and the ones in Sibéria, and Alaska…
    but no, thet will not go the way China wants.

  25. avatar
    Sofia,Giulia e Iris

    We are for helping Brazil and the Amazon forest regardless of the will or the refusal of the Brazilian president. We think his way of thinking is selfish because the Amazon forest is the lung of the Earth and if his way of doing things doesn’t work, the whole world will suffer.

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