I beg to move,
That this House
has considered e-petition 266638 relating to deforestation in the Amazon.
It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mrs Moon. I declare at the outset that I have been a member of Greenpeace for many years.
This timely debate focuses on a real and urgent concern for the environment, on a day when so many are standing vigil outside Parliament and across the capital, making their strength of feeling on this critical issue heard peacefully, calmly and, as I can hear from my office, often with gentle, soothing music—although interspersed occasionally by energetic drumming. However, that commendable gentleness should not be misunderstood. Urgent action is needed, as demanded by the many people who signed the petition.
The petition, which currently stands at more than 122,500 signatures, including more than 500 from my Cambridge constituency, reads as follows:
“Demand the EU & UN sanction Brazil to halt increased deforestation of the Amazon. The government of Brazil led by Bolsonaro favour the development of the Amazon rainforest over conservation, escalating deforestation. Deforestation threatens indigenous populations who live in the forest, loss of a precious and complex ecosystem and a vital carbon store that slows global warming. Indigenous people have called for the EU to impose trade sanctions on Brazil to halt the deforestation because they fear genocide. Also, the UK parliament has recognised a climate emergency. Since the Amazon rainforest is an important carbon store, absorbing huge volumes of CO2 each year, its deforestation is of global significance. The intrinsic value of the rainforest should also be recognised. Trade sanctions are used elsewhere for important issues as an effective means to force action.”