French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday announced a $20 million emergency fund to help countries affected by the Amazon rainforest fires.
Speaking after a G7 climate session, Macron said the fires were “two times the surface area of France” and were damaging the “most important lungs of the planet”. He also pledged military support to deal with the crisis, media reports said.
Macron angered Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro last week by calling the wildfires blazing in the Amazon rainforest an “international crisis” that should be on the agenda at the G7 summit.
“Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produce 20 per cent of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days,” Macron had tweeted on Thursday.
Bolsonaro had hit back at the French leader, saying that the idea of G7 discussing the issue was “reminiscent of colonial mindset inappropriate in the 21st century”.
After facing mounting pressure, the Brazilian President on August 23 authorized the country’s military to help tackle the blazes.
Apart from the short-term emergency funding, Macron also announced a longer-term common initiative for the Amazon that will be discussed at the UN General Assembly.