Macron and Merkel call Amazon rain forest fires an international emergency as the French president warns the 'planet's lungs are on fire.

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron have called the Amazon rainforest fire an international emergency, prompting a furious response from Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro.
The French President said last night the 'lungs of the planet' were ablaze and that G7 leaders should hold urgent talks in France this weekend. Brazil is not a G7 member. Today German Chancellor Angela Merkel backed Macron, saying the Amazon's wildfires were an 'acute emergency' which belonged on the G7 agenda after the worst fires since records began. Macron tweeted: 'Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest - the lungs which produce 20% of our planet's oxygen - is on fire.' He accompanied the post with a stock photo from February 2018. Bolsonaro fired back his own, saying: 'I regret that Macron seeks to make personal political gains in an internal matter for Brazil and other Amazonian countries. The sensationalist tone he used does nothing to solve the problem.' Meanwhile, Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced today Dublin would block an EU trade deal with the South American Mercosur block unless Bolsonaro got a grip on the infernos.
'There is no way that Ireland will vote for the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement if Brazil does not honor its environmental commitments,' he said. Onyx Lorenzoni, the president's chief of staff, earlier in the day accused European countries of exaggerating environmental problems in Brazil in order to disrupt its commercial interests.'There is deforestation in Brazil, yes, but not at the rate and level that they say,' said Lorenzoni, according to the Brazilian news website globo.com.In the last eight days, more than 9,500 fires have ripped through Brazil's dense rainforest and activists claim most of them will have been set by men working in the jungle, clearing land for cattle and logging.
Despite Bolsonaro's claims that uncontrollable blazes are frequent during the 'queimada', the annual slash-and-burn, experts say an 84% increase on last year cannot be attributed to the dry season alone. Last week local media reported that a 'fire day' had been declared by farmers in Para as a direct response to Bolsonaro. Brasil de Fato reported the organizer said: 'We need to show the president that we want to work and the only way is to knock it down. And to form and clear our pastures, it is with fire.' Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) said the country has seen a record number of wildfires this year, counting 74,155 as of Tuesday. Bolsonaro took office on Jan. 1. The news comes as leaked documents purported to show Bolsonaro had plans to deliberately isolate indigenous people in the jungle and build hydroelectric plants which will devastate an area the size of Greater Manchester. One leaked PowerPoint slide says: 'Development projects must be implemented on the Amazon basin to integrate it into the rest of the national territory in order to fight off international pressure for the implementation of the so-called 'Triple-A' project.

'To do this, it is necessary to build the Trombetas River hydroelectric plant, the Óbidos bridge over the Amazon River, and the implementation of the BR-163 highway to the border with Suriname.' Several NGOs back the Triple-A (Andes-Amazon-Atlantic) project, which aims to restore and maintain the ecosystem which flourishes around the Amazon rainforest. The leaked documents claim that Brazil is being put under threat by globalist forces which would seek to encourage indigenous people to rise up against the government. His administration announced on Wednesday it would forge ahead with plans for two new hydroelectric dams which will cause flooding across vast swathes of the rainforest. In a list of new projects was the Bem Querer plant in Roraima and the Tabajara plant in Rondonia. Neither of the projects has environmental licensing, and the Bem Querer proposal also poses risks to indigenous lands. They would cause the destruction and flooding of 152,711 acres of rainforest, according to Estadao, around the same size as Greater Manchester.
Bolsonaro's spat with Macron comes after Germany and Norway, citing Brazil's apparent lack of commitment to fighting deforestation, decided to withhold more than $60 million in funds earmarked for sustainability projects in Brazilian forests. The debate came as Brazilian federal experts reported a record number of wildfires across the country this year, up 84 percent over the same period in 2018. Satellite images show smoke from the Amazon reaching across the Latin American continent to the Atlantic coast and Sao Paulo, Brazil's biggest city, according to the World Meteorological Organization.U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted: 'In the midst of the global climate crisis, we cannot afford more damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity. Amazon must be protected.' Federal prosecutors in Brazil's Amazon region launched investigations of increasing deforestation, according to local media. Prosecutors said they plan to probe possible negligence by the national government in the enforcement of environmental codes. Bolivia is also struggling to contain big fires, many believed to have been set by farmers clearing land for cultivation. Bolsonaro said there was a 'very strong' indication that some non-governmental groups could be setting blazes in retaliation for losing state funds under his administration. He did not provide any evidence. Bolsonaro, who won election last year, also accused media organizations of exploiting the fires to undermine his government.' Most of the media want Brazil to end up like Venezuela,' he said, referring to political and economic turbulence in the neighboring South American country. London-based Amnesty International blamed the Brazilian government for the fires, which have escalated international concern over the vast rainforest that is a major absorber of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The rights group this year documented illegal land invasions and arson attacks near indigenous territories in the Amazon, including Rondonia state, where many fires are raging, said Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty's secretary-general.'Instead of spreading outrageous lies or denying the scale of deforestation taking place, we urge the president to take immediate action to halt the progress of these fires,' Naidoo said. The WWF conservation group also challenged Bolsonaro's allegations about NGOs, saying they divert 'the focus of attention from what really matters: the well-being of nature and the people of the Amazon.' Brazil contains about 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, whose degradation could have severe consequences for global climate and rainfall. Bolsonaro, who has said he wants to convert land for cattle pastures and soybean farms, won office after channeling outrage over the corruption scandals of the former government. Filipe Martins, an adviser to Bolsonaro, said on Twitter that the Brazilian government is committed to fighting illegal deforestation and that many other countries are causing environmental damage. The Amazon will be saved by Brazil and not 'the empty, hysterical and misleading rhetoric of the mainstream media, transnational bureaucrats and NGOs,' Martins said. Sergio Bergman, Argentina's environment minister, appealed for people to overcome political or ideological divisions to protect the environment. He spoke at a five-day U.N. workshop on climate change in Brazil's northern state of Bahia.' We all, in a way, understand that it is not possible to keep using natural resources without limits,' Bergman said.