As Amazon burns, Trudeau calls for world leaders to do more to protect the environment

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has joined the rising chorus of Western leaders alarmed by fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest, and said Friday that more needs to be done to protect the environment when the G7 summit takes place this weekend.Trudeau is among a number of leaders putting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in spotlight as more than 165,000 fires burn across the Amazon rainforest, a record number of them in Brazil.According to Brazil's space research centre, INPE, which has been recording wildfires since 2013, more than 75,000 fires are burning in Brazil, which is a more than 80 per cent increase over the same period of 2018, the agency told Reuters. "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. The message came in response to a tweet posted by French President Emmanuel Macron.  "Our house is burning. Literally." Macron wrote. (Though the photo Macron tweeted does not depict the current fires, and the 20 per cent figure is overstated.)> I couldn’t agree more, @EmmanuelMacron. We did lots of work to protect the environment at the #G7 last year in Charlevoix, & we need to continue this weekend. We need to #ActForTheAmazon & act for our planet — our kids & grandkids are counting on us.> > —@JustinTrudeauThis is an "international crisis" and members of the G7 need to prioritize the emergency and discuss it within the first two days of the upcoming summit, he tweeted.Advisers to the G7 leaders are discussing concrete measures to be decided on during the summit this weekend in France, a French diplomatic source said on Friday."We are working at the advisers' level to take concrete initiatives on the Amazon as part of the G7," the source told Reuters. "Talks are ongoing," the source added.The 45th G7 summit runs through the weekend in Biarritz, France. It brings together leaders of the world's most advanced economies, as well as representatives of the European Union, to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the world. Meanwhile, the Canadian government issued an advisory on Friday to Canadians travelling to Brazil, warning that air quality is affected throughout various regions, including São Paulo, and it could affect those suffering from respiratory problems.This follows a state of emergency being declared in the state of Amazonas earlier this week.International pressure mountsThe 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, where vast tracts of the Amazon rainforest are ablaze in what is known as the burning season. The unprecedented surge in wildfires has occurred since Bolsonaro took office in January with a vow to develop the Amazon region for farming and mining, ignoring international concern over increased deforestation.The Brazilian president — whose far-right policies have earned him the nickname "the Trump of the Tropics" — said on a Facebook Live session Wednesday, without any supporting evidence, that non-governmental organizations could be burning down the Amazon rainforest to bring shame on his government after he cu ...Read more

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