Wednesday 10/20/21

Finnish Government "truly worried" about Brazil's attitude regarding its own forests

Finnish Prime Minister said Amazon rainforest fires are "a threat to the whole planet" and Brazil must "do all it takes" to fight them. Minister of Finance, Mika Lintilä, urges the EU and Finland to examine the possibility of banning imports of Brazilian meat. Meanwhile French President, Emmanuel Macron, announced he will include this "international crisis" on the agenda of the G7 meeting this weekend in Biarritz. His announcement has angered his Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro.
Rinne-prime-minister by Valtioneuvosto-Finnish Government
Finnish Prime Minister, Antti Rinne. Photo: Valtioneuvosto/Finnish Government.

The Prime Minister of Finland, the country that now holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), has issued a tough statement about the uncontrolled forest fires that have devastated the Brazilian Amazon for a few days. 

In his message, released on Friday by the Government Communications Deparment, Prime Minister Antti Rinne claims to be "very much concerned" about the forest fires in Brazil, "like millions of people around the world". An also "truly worried" about the attitude of the Brazilian authorities towards the issue. Meanwhile, Finnish Minister of Finance, Mika Lintilä, urges the EU and Finland to examine the possibility of banning imports of Brazilian meat.

In Rinne's opinion, these fires "are a threat to our whole planet, not just to Brazil or South America". "When it comes to climate change, the situation is extremely serious and we need to act immediately", the Finnish Prime Minister said.

Bolsonaro, annoyed by Emmanuel Macron

Another European leader, French President Emmanuel Macron, described today the Amazon fires as an "international crisis". Macron announced that he will include the situation in Brazilian Amazon -the lungs that produce 20% of the planet's oxygen- on the agenda of the G7 meeting this weekend in Biarritz (South France).

But Macron's announcement just annoyed Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro. He said his French counterpart only intends to benefit politically from an internal Brazilian issue.

"The suggestion of the French president, that Amazonian issues will be discussed in the G7 without the participation of the countries of the region, evokes a colonialist mentality that no longer takes place in the 21st century", he claimed. The far-right leader also criticized countries that provide funds to preserve the rainforests. He accused them of "interfering with the sovereignty of Brazil".

Jair Bolsonaro outraged millions of people from all over the world last Wednesday by assuring, without providing any proof, that the fires had been caused by members of environmental defence associations, in revenge for the cut of funds agreed by his Government.

Rinne "truly worried" about Brazilian attitude

"I am truly worried about the attitude Brazil seems to have adopted right now regarding its own forests", said Finnish Prime Minister. "Brazil should do all it takes to end the fires that are a danger to our whole civilization". 

Finnish Prime Minister considers preservation of Brazilian rainforests "vital for the  world's climate". Rinne also explains in his statement that the Finnish Government is following the events closely. The Helsinki authorities have contacted with the European Commission on Thursday evening and he expects the EU will take action today (Friday).

"We will also discuss the situation in Brazil within the European Council. We must find out whether the Europeans have something to offer to Brazil to help prevent this kind of fires in the future. It goes without saying that in terms of climate change the world cannot sustain such fires", he said.

Combating climate change, as well as sustainable economic development and enhancing people's well being are among the key priorities for Finland's Government. During its presidency of the Council of the EU, the country intends to make "every effort to promote measures to combat climate change".