November 29, 2020
News

RAINFOREST FIRES: Kilkenny councillor urges Brazilian Ambassador to end ‘ecocide’

By SHANE DORAN

LOCAL Green councillor Malcolm Noonan has urged Ireland’s EU Commissioner – the former Kilkenny TD Phil Hogan – to scrap the controversial trade deal with South America as wildfires continue to rage across the Amazon rainforest.

Councillor Noonan said the Mercosur deal between the EU and South American countries would encourage further land clearing that would result in more destruction.

And he has personally written to the Brazilian Ambassador to Ireland to plead for Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government to save the rainforest from “ecocide”.

Cllr Noonan told KilkennyNow.ie: “Far from securing the future of the rainforest as claimed by EU Commissioner Phil Hogan, Mercosur would further endorse land clearing for ranching and soya plantations and that all global trade agreements must now be climate ‘proofed’ to ensure that they do not lead to further destruction of nature or increased climate emissions.

“It is clear to me that these trade agreements are only benefitting a few large agri-business corporations and that farmers and the environment will be at a loss. The Amazon plays a vital role in regulating the earth’s climate and is now reaching a dangerous tipping point that, coupled with the loss of sea ice in the Artic and Greenland could well push us into a runaway climate scenario.”

In his letter to the Brazilian Ambassador Cllr Noonan said this was “our common home”, that “we are one” and that we had it “within our gift to secure the future of all living things on the planet”.

Cllr Noonan added: “I wrote to Ambassador Zugaib to try to reflect the sadness and concern of people in Kilkenny who are very upset at the images appearing from the Amazon and displacement of the indigenous tribes who have lived there for centuries.

“I am appealing to our own Commissioner Hogan to use his power within the European Commission to act also by scrapping Mercosur and to localise trade deals to protect the environment, local farmers here and elsewhere and to ensure a safe planet and a viable future for farm families.”

Cllr Noonan said Bolsonaro had given his blessing to the unauthorised setting of wildfires as he sees the Amazon rainforest as a limit to economic growth of the country.

“He must be stopped, I am asking people in Kilkenny to take time to write to the Brazilian embassy and to our own Government, every action we take no matter how small can have an impact and we stand in solidarity with the indigenous people of the Amazon as they fight to save their home,” Cllr Noonan (pictured below) added.

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