Smoke billows during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Amazonas State, Brazil, Brazil Aug. 14, 2019. Picture Taken August 14, 2019. (Ueslei Marcelino/REUTERS)

Trudeau calls for world leaders to do more to protect the environment

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As tens of thousands of wildfires ravage the Amazonian rainforest, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has joined the rising chorus of Western leaders saying more needs to be done to protect the “lungs of the planet.”

Trudeau joined his French counterpart, President Emmanuel Macron, on Twitter in urging Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to #ActForTheAmazon, as more than 165,000 fires burn across the Amazon, including more than 75,000 fires on Brazilian territory.

“We need to act for the Amazon and act for our planet — our kids and grandkids are counting on us,” Trudeau said in a tweet on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Macron tweeted: “Our house is burning. Literally. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days!”

However, the photo attached to the French president’s tweet was not of current Amazonian forest fires and most scientists dispute his figure that the Amazon produces 20 per cent of our planet’s oxygen.

The European Union is piling pressure on Bolsonaro over the fires raging in the Amazon basin, with Ireland and France saying they could block a trade deal with South America.

Bolsonaro has rejected what he calls foreign interference in domestic affairs in Brazil.

The Brazilian leader accused Macron of sensationalism and of seeking “personal political gains in an internal matter for Brazil and other Amazonian countries.” Brazil contains about 60 per cent of the Amazon rainforest.

With files from CBC News and The Associated Press

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Categories: Environment, International, Politics
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