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GREEN MEP Molly Scott Cato has accused Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro of “ecocide” of the burning Amazon rainforest, as she demanded a consumer boycott and sanctions.
She spoke out as new data from Brazil’s space research agency showed there have been 72,843 fire hotspots across the country so far this year, an increase of 84 per cent from the same period last year.
Over half of these have been in the Amazon rainforest and almost a third have been in the Cerrado savanna that has also been overtaken by soy plantations and cattle ranches over the past 10 years.
Dr Scott Cato, who represents South West England in the European Parliament, said today that around a fifth of the Amazon has been destroyed and that losing another fifth within a generation would cause a feedback loop of destruction known as a “dieback.”
A dieback could see the forest dry out, burn and collapse while the forest releases huge amounts of absorbed carbon.
Ms Scott Cato is urging her fellow MEPs to block the Mercosur Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the largely right-wing Mercosur bloc, in which Brazil is a major player, when it comes before the European Parliament for ratification.
She said Brazil was failing to meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement and to protect the rights of indigenous forest communities.
“The stakes couldn’t be higher. The burning of the Amazon places the planet on red alert,” she added.
“Bolsonaro is encouraging this torching of the forest to appease his agricultural paymasters so they can use the land for beef cattle and soya.
“He is guilty of ecocide and politicians across the globe must stand up to this environmental criminal.”
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