Brazil rejects G7 aid offer to fight 80,000 wildfires in Amazon
Topics: AMAZON FIRE BRAZIL
Nearly 80,000 forest fires have broken out in Brazil since the beginning of the year just over half of them in the massive Amazon basin that regulates part of Earth's carbon cycle and climate.
G7 countries made the $20m aid offer to fight the blazes at the Biarritz summit hosted by Mr Macron, who insisted they should be discussed as a top priority.
"We appreciate (the offer), but maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe," Onyx Lorenzoni, chief of staff to President Jair Bolsonaro, told the G1 news website.
"Macron cannot even avoid a foreseeable fire in a church that is a world heritage site," he added, referring to the fire in April that devastated the Notre-Dame cathedral. "What does he intend to teach our country?"
The presidency later confirmed the comments to AFP.
Brazilian environment Minister Ricardo Salles had earlier told reporters they had welcomed the G7 funding to fight the fires that have swept across 950,000 hectares and prompted the deployment of the army.
But after a meeting between Mr Bolsonaro and his ministers, the Brazilian government changed course. ■