Amazon summit: should Europe do more?

At a summit this week the eight Amazon nations declared their commitment to conserving the rainforest and demanded global financial assistance to this end. However, concrete targets for ending deforestation remain a matter for each individual state and there was no joint declaration on reducing coal, oil and gas production in the Amazon region. Europe’s press voices disappointment and calls on industrialised countries to assume more responsibility.

Il Manifesto (IT) /

Mostly hot air

Il Manifesto decries the lack of concrete results:

“No end of pompous declarations and self-righteous complaints about neo-colonialism. ... The Belém Declaration is a masterpiece of vagueness: it contains no concrete goals for the fight against deforestation and avoids setting limits on oil production, mining and the expansion of agricultural frontiers. The declaration commits the eight countries of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation to working together to stave off the so-called ‘point of no return’. ... But the ‘zero deforestation’ promised by Lula for Brazil by 2030 is defined as no more than an ‘ideal’ to be achieved at some unspecified point in the future.”

Claudia Fanti
taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

Industrialised nations must pay up

The EU should listen carefully to the proposals from South America, the taz urges:

“This one, for example: Lula insists on annual payments of 100 billion US dollars from the industrialised nations so that countries like Brazil can reduce their deforestation. Although this was already decided at the World Climate Conference in 2009, nothing has happened so far. Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro is also pushing for more radical steps. He has called for a strategy modelled on the Marshall Plan: developing countries should have their foreign debts cancelled in return for climate protection measures. Pay for climate protection? Yes, it’s only logical that the industrialised nations should have to dig deep into their pockets. After all, they are the main drivers of global warming.”

Niklas Franzen
De Standaard (BE) /

Share the burden

Saving the rainforest is a task in which the whole world must participate, warns De Standaard:

“The problem with protecting the rainforest is that the benefits and costs are not distributed symmetrically. The whole world has an interest in preserving biodiversity and CO2 absorption capacity, but the task of stopping farmers, timber traders and gold miners is being left to just a handful of countries. ... Lula argues that financial compensation for conservation is appropriate. And he is right about that.”

Ruben Mooijman
Libération (FR) /

Don’t sacrifice humanity for the economy

Libération cannot understand why Emmanuel Macron did not travel to Belém despite the fact that the overseas department of French Guiana is located in the Amazon basin:

“This absence is incomprehensible given the importance of this region. One cannot sincerely claim to be concerned about the environmental challenges and then turn one’s back on such an event. ... The meeting is all about defending a vision of the world that does not sacrifice humanity in the long term for the sake of profits from oil, mining or agriculture that only serve to fuel over-consumption and the depletion of natural resources.”

Alexandra Schwartzbrod