The Malta Independent 19 September 2019, Thursday

PD calls on Malta to stand up for the Amazon Forest

Saturday, 24 August 2019, 12:13 Last update: about 26 days ago

Partit Demokratiku calls for Malta to take a leading role in protecting the Amazon by joining France and Ireland in threatening to block the EU-MERCOSUR trade deal from going through. The deal commits Brazil to meet its Paris Climate Accord targets, but the Amazon is currently under siege under Jair Bolsonaro's Presidency.

"Island states are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Malta must do its part to tackle the climate emergency. Partit Demokratiku is therefore calling on Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat, who after all must ratify the EU-MERCOSUR trade deal, to send a message to Brazil to protect the Amazon. Since taking office in January, Brazil's new President, Jair Bolsonaro, has increased the rate of deforestation by over 60%, from approximately 488 square kilometres in June 2018 to more than 769 square kilometres in 2019. Every minute, the Amazon loses an area equivalent to one-and-a-half football fields. This is without the potentially man-made fires ravaging the rainforest," states Godfrey Farrugia.

"Malta’s MEPs must protect Malta's interests intelligently and exert political and diplomatic pressure in Europe so as to save the Amazon. Blocking the EU-MERCOSUR deal is the domain of local politics, but on the European stage we must talk of further aggressive sanctions and a trade embargo with Brazil. We are living in precarious times. Products produced as a result of increasing Amazon deforestation must be boycotted. We must not provide a market for such goods, or it makes us Europeans equally responsible for the destruction, and thus makes us responsible for our own destruction as well,” states Timothy Alden.

Partit Demokratiku calls for the protection of the Amazon and its indigenous peoples via pressure by the European Union and Maltese government. It recognises that unless strategic pressures are exerted on the global stage, then the fight against the climate emergency is already lost, which will come at unimaginable cost to our country and to generations to come. There is therefore no greater service to the nation than this fight, and all actions taken by Malta's MPs and MEPs in protection of our planet are to be commended.

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