Tackling the record-setting wildfires in the Amazon rainforest has been made a priority among leaders gathered at the Group of Seven summit in France. French President Emmanuel Macron put the fires at the top of the summit’s agenda and announced Sunday that the G7 was close to finalizing a deal to provide “technical and financial help” to countries affected by the fires. “While respecting sovereignty, we must have a goal of reforestation and we must help each country to develop economically,” Macron said.
Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has been resistant to international help and refused foreign assistance on Friday. However, after growing calls from activists and world leaders, the president finally began to address the raging fires on Saturday. Bolsonaro heeded requests from six Brazilian states asking for federal help and announced that military planes were dropping thousands of gallons of water on the burning rainforest. The Amazon provides 20 percent of the planet’s oxygen, making it of vital importance in the global fight against climate change.