The conflict between Brazilian sovereignty and saving the planet

The only ways to force Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro to protect the Amazon rainforest involve money or sanctions - and neither is a good option

8th September, 2019
The row between Jair Bolsonaro (above) and Emmanuel Macron highlights the conflict between global action and national sovereignty Pic: Getty

On the eve of the recent G7 summit in Biarritz, French president Emmanuel Macron described the Amazon rainforest as “the lungs of our planet”. And because the rainforest’s preservation matters for the whole world, Macron added, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro cannot be allowed “to destroy everything”.

In reply, Bolsonaro accused Macron of instrumentalising an “internal” Brazilian issue, and said that for the G7 to discuss the matter without the...

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