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Schatz, Shelby Lead Calls For Immediate Action On Amazon Fires, Urge Brazil To Strengthen Efforts

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) introduced a bipartisan resolution calling for action to quell the fires and stop illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. The resolution, co-sponsored by U.S. Senators John Kennedy (R-La.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), recognizes the critical role the Amazon plays in the Earth’s climate system and calls on the Brazilian government to strengthen environmental enforcement and end illegal deforestation.

“The fires in the Amazon are a global emergency. This bipartisan resolution reflects that there is no disagreement about that fact. The time for action is now,” said Senator Schatz.

“Addressing the unfortunate situation impacting the Amazon rainforest is important,” said Senator Shelby. “These fires and the resulting deforestation affect the whole world, and something should be done to mitigate the issue.”

The Amazon accounts for 25 percent of the carbon that global forests absorb each year. Amazonian ecosystems are also critical to the health of the world’s oceans and the global food chain. Yet, since Bolsonaro took office at the beginning of the year, the Brazilian Amazon has lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover. Enforcement actions by Brazil’s environmental agency fell by 20 percent during the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

A copy of the resolution is available here.