President Donald Trump came out in support of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro after he rejected the G7’s offer of $20 million to help fight the Amazon fires.
On Monday, the leaders of the G7 nations agreed to pledge more than $20 million to help fight the fires, which increased dramatically after Bolsonaro took power and pushed for greater deforestation to help businesses develop in the Amazon.
On Tuesday, Bolsonaro rejected the aid and demanded an apology from French President Emmanuel Macron for pledging to help fight the fires, which Bolsonaro likened to an attack on the country’s sovereignty.
“Before speaking or accepting anything from France, even if it comes from the best possible intentions, he must retract his words. Then we can talk,” Bolsonaro told reporters, according to The Washington Post.
Macron last week threatened to block a trade agreement between the EU and South America, arguing that Bolsonaro lied to him about his commitment to the environment. Bolsonaro responded by mocking Macron’s wife’s looks.
A Brazilian official said in another interview that the country would rejected the aid because it was not involved in the decision.
Trump backs Bolsonaro:
Trump, who had been silent on the Amazon fires, came out in support of Bolsonaro after he rejected the aid.
“I have gotten to know President @jairbolsonaro well in our dealings with Brazil,” Trump tweeted. “He is working very hard on the Amazon fires and in all respects doing a great job for the people of Brazil - Not easy. He and his country have the full and complete support of the USA!”
Damage from Amazon fires could be irreversible:
“The number of blazes in the Amazon states has risen by more than 75 percent this year, and the rate at which they’re scorching the earth has doubled,” The Post reported. “The Amazon serve as the lungs of the planet, a key defense against climate change. It takes in 25 percent of the carbon dioxide absorbed by the world’s forests. But scientists warn that deforestation is approaching a tipping point — between 20 percent and 25 percent — when the damage could be irreversible, and large swaths could transform into savanna.”