You can read 9 more articles this month
FAR-RIGHT Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is facing an international backlash over the devastating fires destroying large swathes of the Amazon rainforest.
French President Emmanuel Macron accused Mr Bolsonaro of lying when he committed Brazil to meeting global climate-change targets.
Mr Macron and Irish Premier Leo Varadkar warned that they will not ratify a trade deal between the European Union and the Mercosur bloc of South American countries, which includes Brazil, until Mr Bolsonaro commits to protect the environment.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the fires an “acute emergency … shocking and threatening not only for Brazil and the other affected countries but also for the whole world.”
Harrowing pictures have drawn global attention to the conflagrations in Brazil, where large parts of the Amazon rainforest – known as the lungs of the world because of its trees’ important role in absorbing cardon dioxide and producing oxygen – are being burnt down.
Mr Bolsonaro is being accused of responsibility because he came to power promising to cut legislation protecting the Amazon rainforest.
Earlier this week, he sought to blame environmental NGOs for the fires, accusing them of arson because they have lost international financing and want to hurt him.
On Wednesday, the president claimed that local governors hostile to him were letting the devastation happen.
“Look, there is a governor – I don’t want to say his name – who is colluding with what is happening and blames it on the federal government,” Mr Bolsonaro said, adding that “in the northern region [of Brazil], there are states, which I don’t want to mention, where the governor is not even moving a shovel to help fight fire. He is enjoying it.”
According to National Institute for Space Research (INPE) data, the cumulative number of forest fires increased by 70 per cent between January and this month compared with the same period of last year.
About 52 per cent of those fires occurred in the Amazon and 31 per cent in El Cerrado, a vast tropical savanna extending over five states.
Nonetheless, Mr Bolsonaro sacked INPE chief Ricardo Galvao at the beginning of August, claiming that he had manipulated the statistics to exaggerate the scale of the destruction.
Mr Galvao hit back on Thursday, saying: “The leader of any country should be aware that in scientific matters there is no authority above the sovereignty of science” and that the attacks on the institute had “backfired on the government.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.