Amazon Deforestation — [Mrs Madeleine Moon in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 6:55 pm on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Labour, Cambridge 6:55 pm, 7th October 2019

Thank you, Sir Roger, for chairing the debate. We have had a full debate, during the course of which we have heard from, I think, five political parties. For much of the debate, I was greatly enthused and encouraged, because there was seemingly a lot of common ground. Some thorny issues, such as sovereignty, were raised by a number of people, including the hon. Members for Bath (Wera Hobhouse) and for Winchester (Steve Brine). I think the emerging conclusion was that this is a global crisis and a global responsibility, in which we all have a role to play. Both Front-Bench spokespeople made powerful speeches with which I strongly agreed.

I was hoping that I would hear a positive, civilised and courteous response from the Minister, but I have to say that in policy terms, for me and I suspect for others, it was profoundly disappointing, not least because when invited to suggest that in future trade deals environmental considerations would be a key part, there was a stunning silence. The Minister said only that there would be trade deals. Well, they will not be very quick—we know that for sure—and we also know that there is an urgency about everything.

I did not hear even a suggestion of criticism of the Brazilian Government, which would not be very hard to do given their record. Of course, they will watch the debate and hear what we say, so it is important that our contributions are measured and constructive. However, we must also say very clearly to people on the global stage who are damaging our climate and planet that that will not go unchallenged. Frankly, I am deeply disappointed, as the petitioners and the people outside surely are, to hear that our Government are so weak in their response. The conclusion I have come to is that the Government are not part of the solution; frankly, they are part of the problem.

Question put and agreed to.


That this House
has considered e-petition 266638 relating to deforestation in the Amazon.

Sitting adjourned.