Twenty-six NGOs sent an open letter to European leaders urging them to end European complicity in the fires raging in the Amazon.

NGOs believe the EU can act decisively in two ways.

1. Suspend ratification of the Mercosur trade deal until Brazil upholds its commitments to the Paris climate agreement

The current deforestation crisis contravenes the stated aims of the Paris agreement. It is therefore a matter of urgency for the EU to formally suspend the ratification process, as a number of EU leaders have called for. It should contain strong and binding safeguards that will ensure that forests are protected, and Indigenous and traditional communities’ rights are respected.

2. Prepare new laws to ensure products placed on the EU market, or investments by European companies, do not lead to forest destruction or degradation, or human rights abuses

A recent poll showed that 87% of Europeans support new laws to ensure that the food they eat and the products they buy don’t drive global deforestation. European citizens will not continue to allow further destruction of the forests we all depend on to stabilise our climate, maintain rainfall, nurture biodiversity and protect the world’s poorest people.

Read the letter here.