World: As the Amazon Burns, Europe Seizes Title of Climate Champion - PressFrom - US
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WorldAs the Amazon Burns, Europe Seizes Title of Climate Champion

10:40  25 august  2019
10:40  25 august  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

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PARIS — As the Amazon burned and the world faced an ecological disaster, President Emmanuel Macron of France bluntly criticized Brazil’s leader this week and threatened to kill a major trade deal between Europe and Brazil.

Why are there fires in the Amazon ? Wildfires often occur in the dry season in Brazil but they are also deliberately started in efforts to illegally deforest land for cattle ranching. "There is nothing abnormal about the climate this year or the rainfall in the Amazon region, which is just a little below average

As the Amazon Burns, Europe Seizes Title of Climate Champion
As the Amazon Burns, Europe Seizes Title of Climate Champion
As the Amazon Burns, Europe Seizes Title of Climate Champion

PARIS — As the Amazon burned and the world faced an ecological disaster, President Emmanuel Macron of France bluntly criticized Brazil’s leader this week and threatened to kill a major trade deal between Europe and Brazil.

Brazilian environmental minister heckled over record Amazon fires: 'Stop Ecocide!'

Brazilian environmental minister heckled over record Amazon fires: 'Stop Ecocide!' The environmental minister of Brazil was met with boos and heckles when he took the stage at a meeting on climate change Wednesday as massive wildfires continued to rage for more than two weeks in the world’s largest rainforest. © FoxNews.com Amazon wildfires darkened the skies in Sao Paulo, Brazil as the blaze rages on. Ricardo Salles attended the U.N.’s Latin American and Caribbean Climate Week conference on Wednesday and when his name was announced, the plenary booed and shouted at him. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

PARIS — As the Amazon burned and the world faced an ecological disaster, President Emmanuel Macron of As the Trump administration denies established climate science and has abandoned an international accord intended to fight global warming, European leaders have energetically stepped in

Such is the case right now, as the Amazon forest burns under the unscrupulous rule of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. For the past three weeks, huge chunks of this climate -critical forest have been on fire in the northern part of Brazil, the world’s fifth largest country by both area and population.

President Trump, on the other hand, posted a tweet only Friday evening, saying that the United States was ready to help contain the fires, but adding that “future trade prospects” between the United States and Brazil “are very exciting.”

The contrast highlighted the gap in leadership on issues affecting the global climate. As the Trump administration denies established climate science and has abandoned an international accord intended to fight global warming, European leaders have energetically stepped in to take up the mantle of leadership.

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“There is a European vision of the world, and this vision is asserting itself more and more — that the European Union has to be a green superpower,” said Pascal Canfin, an ally of Mr. Macron, who is also member of the European Parliament and chairman of its environment committee.

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Western Europe has an Oceanic climate , far southern Europe has a Mediterranean climate , and central-eastern Europe is classified as having a Continental climate . The climate of western Europe is strongly conditioned by the Gulf Stream, which keeps mild air (for the latitude)

Climate Change. You’ve probably heard the Amazon Rainforest referred to as the “lungs of the earth,” since its trees take in so much carbon dioxide, CO2 About 30% of our carbon emissions come from burning the rainforests alone. The Amazon forest is a major player in determining global climate .

By week’s end, the global condemnation led by Mr. Macron appeared to have chastened President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, a far-right populist and climate change skeptic.

In a televised address Friday night, he reversed himself, announcing that he would send the military to combat the fires and adding in an unusually conciliatory tone, “Protecting the rain forest is our duty.”

On Saturday, military officials said they had deployed two C-130 cargo planes equipped with firefighting tools to the state of Rondônia and were assessing requests from at least five other states. Many questions have yet to be answered, though, including how many troops will be assigned and how much money will be spent.

Brazilian officials said the military was uniquely equipped to battle the fires and enforce environmental laws. But restoring the country’s image was also at play. Lt. Brig. Raul Botelho, the chief of the Armed Forces’ Joint Staff, said an important part of the mission was creating “a positive perception of the country.”

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Amazon fires caused by humans, environmentalists say The rainforest protection group Amazon Watch says farmers, emboldened by the government, intentionally set the forest ablaze

The Amazon rainforest is becoming increasingly vulnerable to catastrophic forest fires due to a combination of droughts, climate change and human One of the last great wildernesses on earth – known as the lungs of the world – is balancing dangerously close to a “tipping point” where forest fires

Report showing 16% increase in tree destruction underscores climate threat and is a disappointing result for government efforts to combat deforestation.

Still, Mr. Bolsonaro’s announcement yielded a victory for Europe as Mr. Macron prepared to host the Group of 7 leaders at a weekend meeting in Biarritz, a resort town in southern France.

But the summit meeting also underlined the limits of Europe’s engagement on climate: Mr. Trump had used his first Group of 7 meeting, in 2017, to snub the Paris climate accord before quickly announcing a withdrawal.

And China — the world’s other indispensable player on climate and Brazil’s biggest trading partner — is not a member of the group.

Mr. Macron’s criticism of Brazil was followed up by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who said forcefully that the Amazon fires would be a central issue during the summit.

“In a very special way, we are galvanized by the terrible fires in the Amazon,” Ms. Merkel said. The goal at the summit, she added, is “to send a clear message that everything must be done to stop the burning of the rain forest.”

But given Mr. Trump’s position on climate, and the absence of China as well as Russia, the talks are not likely to lead to significant change, said Jean Jouzel, a leading French climate expert.

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We are facing a global emergency in the Amazon. Here's what we can do The corporations and financial institutions that back the businesses Bolsonaro beckons drive this deforestation and destruction, and will generate tremendous short-term profits at the expense of the Amazon, write Leila Salazar-Lopez and Lindsey Allen.

China — which already emits more carbon from burning fossil fuels than the United States and Europe combined — saw electricity use jump last year as its economy That gave some hope to climate scientists of progress in stabilizing humanity’s release of climate -changing gases into the atmosphere.

Burning coal at an unauthorized steel factory in Inner Mongolia in November. Chinese participation is critical for global efforts on climate change. With its economic growth and rampant infrastructure construction, China consumes as much coal as the rest of the world combined.

“The international scene now lacks dynamism in the fight against global warming,” said Mr. Jouzel, who was vice chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007 when it won the Nobel Prize. “To effectively combat global warming, all countries must look in the same direction.”

Indeed, despite Mr. Bolsonaro’s change in tone on Friday, it is far from clear whether he will reconsider any of the policies that, experts say, have contributed to the rapid pace of deforestation since he took office in January.

During his short tenure, his business-friendly policies have led to widespread destruction of the Amazon’s protected areas by miners, loggers and farmers — reversing his country’s success over the previous two decades in slowing the deforestation rate.

During his presidential campaign, Mr. Bolsonaro had even threatened to pull his country out of the Paris climate accord, following in the footsteps of Mr. Trump, with whom he has bonded, especially during a visit to the White House in March.

Once a model for conservation and efforts to fight climate change, Brazil quickly became a target for environmental groups and European governments.

Earlier this month, Germany and Norway suspended payments to Brazil’s Amazon fund — a conservation program that had been central to curbing deforestation — after the Bolsonaro government weakened its leadership.

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The world's leading climate scientists think human activities are almost certainly the main cause of the warming observed since the middle of the 20th An increase of 2°C compared to the temperature in pre-industrial times is seen by scientists as the threshold beyond which there is a much higher risk

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Mr. Bolsonaro reacted angrily, saying, “Isn’t Norway that country that kills whales up there in the North Pole? Take that money and help Angela Merkel reforest Germany.”

Last month, Ireland became the first member of the European Union to express opposition to the trade deal between the European Union and Brazil as well as three other South American nations, a region called Mercosur.

In June, after 20 years of negotiations, the European Union and the South American nations agreed on a deal that would, according to Brazil’s own estimates, bolster the country’s economy by $88 billion over the next 15 years. The agreement, however, still needs to be ratified by the respective governments.

Initially, Mr. Bolsonaro said the Amazon fires were an internal issue and dismissed the idea of discussing the Amazon at the Group of 7 meeting as “colonialist mind-set that is unacceptable in the 21st century.” Without offering evidence, his administration also accused private environmental groups of starting the fires to embarrass him.

But pressure from Europe finally appeared to bear fruit on Friday as France threatened to block the South American trade deal and calls to boycott Brazilian products rose globally. The moves zeroed in on a sensitive spot for Brazil’s pro-business leader: the country’s fragile economy.

In unusually harsh language, France issued a statement saying that based on Mr. Bolsonaro’s stance on the Amazon fires, Mr. Macron “can only conclude that President Bolsonaro lied to him” during a previous meeting about his commitment to the climate.

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The Amazon Basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries. The Amazon drainage basin covers an area of about 6,300,000 km2 (2,400,000 sq mi)

Worldwide tropical rainforest climate zones. Tropical rainforests are characterized by a warm and wet climate with no substantial dry season: typically Many of the world's tropical forests are associated with the location of the monsoon trough, also known as the intertropical convergence zone.[8] The

Germany — as the biggest European winner in trade deals worldwide — has traditionally hesitated to use the European Union’s economic leverage to press a climate agenda. While Ms. Merkel appeared to fully back her French counterpart, a spokesman for the chancellor said that Germany did not believe that killing the trade deal was the way forward in resolving the crisis in the Amazon.

“France has been the most vocal in promoting it, and it’s gaining ground across Europe, though all countries are still not on the same line,” said Mr. Canfin, the European parliamentarian who also served as the head of the World Wildlife Fund in France.

Others were more skeptical, saying that political leaders were simply reacting to voters’ growing interest in climate issues — as evidenced by the Green Party’s broad gains across the Continent in May’s European Parliament elections.

Esther Benbassa, a Green Party senator representing Paris and a fierce opponent of the South American trade deal, said Mr. Macron had supported the pact until Friday even though Mr. Bolsonaro’s views and policies on the Amazon had long been clear.

“Now, because of growing opposition, Mr. Macron is just reversing course,” Ms. Benbassa said. “Because of his neoliberal views, he can’t really be for the environment.”

G-7 Countries Slammed Over $22 Million Pledge to Fight Amazon Wildfires: 'Netflix Paid $100 Million to Stream 'Friends''.
"The US has spent over $100 million on Trump's golf trips," journalist Jordan Uhl tweeted. "Let me get this straight: $1 billion is immediately pledged when an old church burns down in Paris," Twitter user Tom Talisman wrote. "A global catastrophe on the other hand, one that poses a threat to every living being on this planet, is met with $20 million from nations with a combined GDP of $40 trillion?" Several others made the same comparison. "Within hours of Norte [sic] Dame catching fire, France and prominent European families pledged $1 billion to rebuild it," political activist and commentator Nathan H.

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