Parliament debates the situation in Amazonia. “If we want to combat climate change, we need to protect our forests.”

“The Amazon forest fires are alarming. If we want to combat climate change, we need to protect our forests, which are the source of the air we breathe, and carbon sinks at the same time”, said First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mairead McGuinness MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokeswoman on the topic.

“Not only words, but action is needed”, said McGuinness, pointing to the fact that the high number of fires in the Amazon is a “result of human activity and an exceptionally dry and hot summer.” “Human activities such as farming, mining and drilling, all exacerbate the current situation. The proportions of damage are enormous for the climate and biodiversity”, she said, recalling that an area the size of a football field is destroyed every minute.

For the EPP Group, the only way to address the problem is to defend multilateralism and to encourage countries and continents to work together to develop and defend policies that address global warming. The Paris climate accord is also an integral part of modern trade agreements.

“Rather than engaging in blame games, we should use the sense of urgency generated by the wildfires in the Amazon and elsewhere to make a constructive contribution to the debate on how to leverage trade policy in our efforts to fight climate change on a global scale”, said Christophe Hansen, EPP Group Spokesman in Parliament’s Trade Committee.

“While the Amazon fires received the most media attention, there are also devastating fires in the Congo Basin forest, the world’s second lung, in Indonesia, and in the Arctic. International cooperation is vital to ensure that the damage caused by forest fires to our climate and environment are fully understood, that every effort is made to prevent fires and that we act quickly to make sure that fires are put out as soon as possible”, McGuinness concluded.

The European Parliament will debate the situation and destruction of forests in the Amazon region this afternoon.