Amazon Deforestation — [Mrs Madeleine Moon in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 6:31 pm on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State 6:31 pm, 7th October 2019

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her intervention, but I do not think that talk of sanctions will help the cause. Threatening Brazil will not encourage President Bolsonaro or his Government to talk with us about how we can collaboratively tackle the problem. It is better that we engage sensitively and sensibly than engage in megaphone diplomacy from afar.

We all care deeply about the future of our planet, and we are determined that COP 26 will deliver a greater ambition. It will promote tangible action to deliver the transformational change required by the Paris agreement. We are working closely with Chile to ensure a smooth handover from COP 25, as I described, and we firmly support Chile’s desire for an ambitious, blue COP 25 with a strong focus on oceans.

We remain committed to supporting the countries of the Amazon to tackle deforestation. Those countries will be vital allies in the fight against climate change. Brazil particularly, as home to 60% of the Amazon and 12% of the world’s forests, has a crucial role to play if we are to achieve our climate ambitions at COP 26 and beyond. If future climate negotiations are to succeed, we need to engage with Brazil and her neighbours positively and maintain a constructive dialogue, not shout at them from afar.

At the same time, the United Kingdom Government will continue to raise our concerns about deforestation and to support initiatives that protect the Amazon rainforest. Only through partnership and dialogue will we be able to preserve those precious tropical forests and avert the gravest forecasts of climate change. That is the responsible approach, the approach that will address the passions of the people outside the Chamber as well as within it, and the approach that the Government are determined to take.