Macron: Brazil President lied about climate at G20

French President Emmanuel Macron

Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron has said that his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro “lied” about his commitments to climate change, the media reported on Friday, quoting a statement released by the leader’s office here.

The statement came as Macron called the record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil an “international crisis” that needs to be on the top of the agenda at the upcoming G7 summit.

“Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20 per cent of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days,” Macron, the host of this weekend’s G7 summit of some of the world’s most advanced economies, tweeted on Thursday night.

Satellite data published by the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) showed an increase of 85 per cent this year in fires across Brazil, most of them in the Amazon region.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro responded to Macron’s tweet saying that the French leader was using the issue for “political gain”.

Later, Macron’s office said in the statement: “Given the attitude of Brazil in recent weeks, the President of the Republic can only note that the President Bolsonaro lied to him at the Summit (G20, Ed) of Osaka.

“Under these conditions, France was opposed to the free trade agreement between the European Union and South American nations,” said the statement cited by Xinhua news agency.

“President Bolsonaro has decided neither to respect his climate commitments nor to commit to biodiversity … In these circumstances, France opposes the Mercosur agreement,” it said, referring to the EU-Mercosur trade deal.

On Twitter and his weekly Facebook live video, Bolsonaro said: “Some countries are taking advantage of the moment to increase their criticism of Brazil in order to damage agribusiness and our economy.

“I am sorry that President Macron is using an internal matter of Brazil and other countries in the Amazon region for personal political gains. The sensationalist tone he used does nothing to help,” he added.