August 22, 2019 10:31 pm
Updated: August 23, 2019 9:03 am

Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron agree: Amazon wildfires are an ‘international crisis’

Two satellite images released by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show smoke from a wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest. The number of wildfires burning in the region has hit a record high in 2019.


Consider Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron to be on the same page when it comes to the wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest.

Both agree the fires represent an “international crisis” that should be discussed at a G7 meeting set to take place this weekend.

WATCH: Aug. 22 — Record-breaking wildfires scorch Brazil’s Amazon rainforests

“Our house is burning,” Macron tweeted Thursday.

“The Amazon rainforest — the lungs which produce 20 per cent of our planet’s oxygen — is on fire. It is an international crisis.”

Trudeau re-tweeted Macron’s post, saying, “I couldn’t agree more.”

“We did lots of work to protect the environment at the G7 last year in Charlevoix, and we need to continue this weekend. We need to act for the Amazon and act for our planet — our kids and grandkids are counting on us.”

The Amazon rainforest has seen over 74,000 fires this year.

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That represents an increase of 84 per cent over the same period last year, and the most that the rainforest has seen since record keeping started in 2013.

The wildfires have not been blamed on natural factors.

READ MORE: Amazon rainforest fires — what caused them and why activists are blaming Brazil’s president

Scientists have singled out deforestation as a cause of the blazes, with cattle farmers purposely starting fires so they can create more land for ranching.

Environmentalists, meanwhile, have blamed policies pushed by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has taken a pro-business stance in office and said he would boost the economy by finding more uses for the rainforest.

Farmers, critics say, have been emboldened to clear more land for cattle ranches.

WATCH: Activists are blaming Brazil’s president for Amazon’s rainforest fires

However, in raising awareness of the wildfire, Macron — and subsequently, Trudeau — helped to spread a photo that has existed on the internet since 2018.

As noted by Mother Jones, the photo that Macron tweeted was attached to an article on the website CarbonBrief in February 2018.

The G7 meeting is set to take place in Biarritz, France this weekend.

READ MORE: Brazil says it is target of smear campaign over role in Amazon fires

Canada, meanwhile, is itself being criticized for its action on climate change before the meeting happens.

A report by the Climate Action Network said Canada’s climate plan is among the worst in the G7.

Canada, the report said, has policies consistent with global warming topping four degrees Celsius, over pre-industrial levels. The U.S. and Japan were similarly criticized.

WATCH: Aug. 21 — What is causing the Amazon rainforest wildfires?

The Paris climate agreement called for signatories to keep warming as close to 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible.

A spokesperson for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna noted that Canada is working to wean the planet off of coal power generation and putting money into projects to limit climate change in the developing world.

  • With files from Rachael D’amore and the Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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