“Our house is burning,” tweeted the French president, Emmanuel Macron, who called for emergency talks on the subject at this week’s G7 summit. But the response to the crisis has been mixed: while Norway and Germany have halted donations to the Brazilian government’s Amazon fund, the EU has recently signed a trade deal with South America, and the UK spent this week focusing on post-Brexit business with Brazil.
In the five days to Wednesday, there were 7,746 fires in Brazil, according to data from the country’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE). This follows a 278% rise in deforestation last month. The figures are preliminary, but a rising trend has been observed by other satellite monitoring systems.
Concerns about the deteriorating situation have prompted protests at Brazil’s embassies. The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has also urged Brazil to take action. “In the midst of the global climate crisis, we cannot afford more damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity. The Amazon must be protected,” he tweeted.
The UK, however, has been more focused on building post-Brexit business relations. Brazil’s international trade minister, Marcos Troyjo, said that along with ongoing negotiations with the US, Burns’s visit was a sign that Brazil continued to have the trust of the outside world.