BIARRITZ: While the leaders of the G7 club of rich countries meet in southern France on Saturday to discuss diving stock markets and inter-G7 disputes, protesters are accumulating to march for one of the most pressing environmental concerns, ‘Amazon burning’.
Thousands are set to march around 30 kilometres (20 miles) down the coast from Biarritz to denounce leaders over lack of concern for environmental damage.
The G7 summit, which was already expected to start off with a somber note due to the strained relations between member countries, will have to face even darker mood as environmentalists gather around the summit venue in large numbers.
French President Macron said on Friday, “The Amazon is burning and it’s something that concerns everyone.”
He has led international pressure on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over the fires, telling him Paris would block efforts to seal a major trade deal between Latin America and the European Union (EU).
He has called for emergency talks at the G7, which lasts from Saturday to Monday, aiming for “concrete measures” to tackle the crisis.
Macron added, “We are going to try and mobilize everyone to raise funding for reforestation as quickly as possible.”
Bolsonaro responded in televised remarks, saying “there are forest fires all over the world, and this cannot be used as a pretext for possible international sanctions,” adding that “some countries” will defend Brazil at the G7 meet.