“This is what an emergency looks like” is what Daniel Zeichner MP told Parliamentarians in a debate on 7 October, ignited by 122,500 people who have signed a petition calling for sanctions against Brazil in response to the devastating wildfires in the rainforest.
Mr Zeichner told Parliament: “The rainforest is burning, and frankly, the Prime Minister offers a water-pistol. Maybe he could have sent an unused water-cannon. Remember the scale of the challenge we face. Government action so far hardly equates to the “rapid, unprecedented and far-reaching transitions” called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in their report last year.
“The UK Government’s feeble response stands in marked contrast to others. Our European partners have called for trade sanctions, with Austrian MPs demanding that their Government vetoes the EU’s proposed trade deal.”
Environmentalists say the blazes are a direct result of Brazilian government policy and have been raising the alarm since President Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 pledging to open up the forests for business.
Since then there have been a record number of wildfires across the country – up 84 per cent this year. At one point the billowing smoke blocked out the sun over Sao Paulo.
At last month’s Cambridge Climate Protest hundreds of youngsters joined around 3000 people to protest the Government’s lack of action on climate change, with their banners and placards filling the city.
The Amazon rain forest produces around 20% of our planet’s oxygen as well as being home to rare species and a number of indigenous tribes.
Celebrities including Madonna, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lewis Hamilton have spoken out about the fires raging in the rainforest.
Mr Zeichner comments: “The Amazon Rainforest is part of the global ecosystem, home to thousands of rare plants and animals, and home to indigenous people too. We must protect it, and the Government must do more to stop the fires before more of nature’s treasures go up in smoke.”