BRUSSELS: French President Emmanuel Macron said that leaders of G7 countries agreed to help the countries of the Amazon basin to deal with forest fires that he described as a serious international crisis, while criticizing his Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, for not following his obligations to combat climate change.
The Brazilian government has rejected an offer of aid by the G7 countries to deal with the Amazon fires , according to AFP.
“We appreciate [the offer], but maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe,” Onyx Lorenzoni, chief of staff to President Jair Bolsonaro, told the G1 news website, as cited by AFP.
On Monday, Macron announced that the G7 would “immediately send to the Amazon countries… financial support worth at least about 20 million euros.”
The Amazon rainforest, which produces about 20 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere’s oxygen, is burning from wildfires at a record rate and has drawn international attention.
Environmental activists have been staging protests at Brazilian embassies worldwide and accusing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of supporting farmers who are burning the rainforest to expand farming land.
On Saturday, the Brazilian authorities deployed troops in an attempt to fight the environmental disaster.