Malta should veto a proposed trade deal between the EU and South American nations in protest at the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, a new environmental movement has proposed.
Extinction Rebellion Malta, the new Maltese branch of a global movement against climate change, held a protest yesterday outside the Brazilian consulate in Sliema.
This morning we gathered in front of the Brazilian consulate in solidarity with the indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest. This is Christian's statement before we were stopped by the security
Posted by Anna Merċedes Fava on Saturday, August 24, 2019
“We stand against the tyranny of climate terrorism,” activist Christian Pace said. “While calling on Brazil to change its environmental policies, theres no reason why we shouldn’t also be part of the solution. The majority of deforestation in the Amazon is taking place to make way for pastures and livestock and, while terrifying, the forest fires aren’t isolated.”
“The problem is that the soot can find its way to the ice caps, cause them to melt faster and speed up flooding caused by climate change. We’re already seeing people losing their lives to flooding in India and we need to act to confront the ecocide thats taking place and that’s engulfing the world. “
Extinction Rebellion Malta urged the Maltese government to follow in the footsteps of France and Ireland, who have pledged not to ratify the EU-Mercosur deal unless Brazil does more to commit to safeguarding the Amazon.
The EU approved the trade deal with the four founding members of Mercosur, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, earlier this year but the deal still needs to be ratified by individual member states before it can be implemented.
However, the deal is now at risk after fires broke out in the Amazon, which environmental groups blame on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s deforestation policies, an accusation he denies.
The #Amazon is on fire. We’ve moved from climate emergency to catastrophe.
The EU must stand ready to offer any support it can to Brazil in the immediate term, but it goes beyond. Any trade deal must include guarantees against deforestation & protection of the earth’s lungs 1/2 pic.twitter.com/MxHwuqsEx6
— Roberta Metsola MEP (@RobertaMetsola) August 25, 2019
PN MEP Roberta Metsola said the Amazon must be safeguarded in any trade deal between the EU and Mercosur.
“It cannot only be a legislative response, we are all responsible. The throw-away, instant, culture has fuelled unprecedented damage to our planet,” she added. “Small changes can make a huge difference. This is on all of us.”
Partit Demokratiku has also urged Malta to veto the deal, arguing the country must play its part in tackling the world’s climate crisis.