Just a day before the G7 summit began, French President Emmanuel Macron called for the crisis in the Amazon rainforest to be added to the G7’s agenda last minute.
Rabat – The Group of Seven (G7), an organization comprising of the world’s 7 most powerful economies, has reached an agreement to step up and help end the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.
The agreement came as the leaders of the G7 countries; Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US met for the G7’s 45th annual summit, held in Biarritz, France, from August 24 to August 26.
French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that the G7 countries will donate $22 million in emergency aid to the cause.
Macron said that the funds will be “available immediately.” He added that France will also pledge “concrete support with military in the region within the next few hours.”
Just a day before the G7 summit began, Macron called for the crisis in the Amazon rainforest to be added to the G7’s agenda last minute on Twitter on August 23. Justin Trudeau also voiced his support.
I couldn’t agree more, @EmmanuelMacron. We did lots of work to protect the environment at the #G7 last year in Charlevoix, & we need to continue this weekend. We need to #ActForTheAmazon & act for our planet — our kids & grandkids are counting on us. https://t.co/KwaR8Eevq5
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 23, 2019
US President Trump was notably absent from the summit on Monday, the day dedicated to environmental talks. Macron added in a press conference that despite his absence, the US is “in general agreement over the need to fight the wildfires.”
Earlier this month, Brazil declared a state of emergency over the rising number of fires in the Amazon, and as the situation is thrust into the spotlight of international media, a global outcry has ensued.
So far this year, almost 73,000 fires have been detected by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), with a sharp spike in July and August. The number is an 83% increase from last year. Brazilian scientists believe that at least 50% of the fires are set by loggers and ranchers to clear land for cattle.
Environmental agencies have attributed the spike in deliberate fire setting to Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro relaxing environmental policies and regulations in favor of economic growth.
The Brazilian federal government has not provided any major organized effort to fight the fires. On Thursday, August 22, Bolsonaro said the Brazilian government lacks the resources to fight the fires.
The Amazon rainforest is frequently referred to as the “Earth’s lungs,” thanks to the huge amount of carbon dioxide the rainforest absorbs to produce 20% of the world’s oxygen.
If too much of the rainforest is destroyed past the point of return, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will rise significantly, causing the hole in the ozone layer to grow and climate change to worsen.