G7 pledges $20m to fight record Amazon fires

NASA           Amazon Fires

NASA Amazon Fires

He also accused the Brazilian leader of lying to him about his commitments to fighting climate change.

The worldwide pledges came despite tensions between European countries and the Brazilian president, who suggested the West was angling to exploit Brazil's natural resources.

Indigenous people from the Mura tribe show a deforested area in unmarked indigenous lands inside the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Amazonas State, Brazil August 20, 2019. Leaders in Biarritz have pledged to contribute $20 million to fight the blazes now ravaging the rainforest.

Macron said that the Amazon represents the "lungs" of the planet and that leaders were studying the possibility of similar support in Africa, also suffering from fires in its rainforests.

Fires are common during Brazil's dry season, but the numbers surged this year.

"Question: Which of the two leaders (Macron v Bolsonaro) would you rather escort you to a ball?" Brazil's President, Jair Bolsonaro, criticized the G7, particularly Macron, for deciding to take action in a sovereign nation.

Many Brazilians marched in protest on Sunday against the government's perceived inaction, coming out by the thousands in Rio de Janeiro and other cities, according to The Associated Press.

Satellite images show extent of Amazon rainforest fires
NASA maps carbon monoxide from the Amazonian fires in Brazil

The two leaders are now embroiled in a feud over the fires that are raging through the Amazon rainforest, much of which is situated in Brazil, but their argument took a nasty turn when Bolsonaro endorsed a post on Facebook insulting the French first lady, Brigitte Macron.

His decision to appoint his son Eduardo Bolsonaro as Brazil's ambassador to the United States was considered wrong by 72.7 per cent of the people polled.

In violating environmental agreements, Brazil has been discredited and "unable to exercise any type of leadership on the worldwide stage", said Mauricio Santoro, an global relations professor at Rio de Janeiro State University.

Bolsonaro, once a fringe politician who came to power in elections previous year after appealing to nationalist sentiment, has called the global criticism of his government by European nations a reflection of a "colonialist mentality".

Bolsonaro's delayed response came as the Amazon crisis threatened to torpedo a massive trade agreement between the European Union and South American countries, including Brazil, which had alarmed the powerful agriculture sector. Critics say the large number of fires this year has been caused by his encouragement of farmers and others to increase efforts to remove trees from the forest.

Asked if he would speak with Macron, Bolsonaro said Saturday: "If he calls me, I will answer".

Brazil's National Space Research Institute watches for signs of deforestation across the country. He then questioned if environmental groups might have started the fires in an effort to damage the standing of his government.

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