The presidents of Brazil and French clashed over forest fires in the Amazonian rainforest, ahead of a G7 summit meeting.
The fires reduce biodiversity and speed global warming.
“Our house is burning. Literally,” France’s Emmanuel Macron wrote Thursday on Twitter. “The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis.”
Macron suggested the issue be discussed during this weekend’s G7 summit that France is hosting in the town of Biarritz.
But Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro hit back, accusing Macron of “a misplaced colonialist mindset.”
“I regret that President Macron seeks to instrumentalize an internal issue of Brazil and other Amazonian countries for personal political gains,” he tweeted.
He said Macron’s “sensational tone … does nothing to solve the problem.”
Bolsonaro said the Brazilian government remains open to dialogue based on objective data and mutual respect.
Earlier, Bolsonaro accused environmental groups of starting the wildfires, but gave no evidence.
However, the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) said the growing number of fires is related to deforestation.
Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) underlined that the number of wildfires in the country had risen 83% from to the previous year.