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Debates
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

12. Amazon forest fires (debate) (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Πρόεδρος. – Το επόμενο σημείο στην ημερήσια διάταξη είναι η συζήτηση επί των δηλώσεων του Συμβουλίου και της Επιτροπής σχετικά με τις δασικές πυρκαγιές στην περιοχή του Αμαζονίου (2019/2811 (RSP)).

 
  
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  Tytti Tuppurainen, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, I believe I am not alone in saying that the matter that is before us today, the forest fires that are currently ravaging the Amazon region, is deeply worrying for us all. The fires are a tragedy, not only for the people directly affected but also, more broadly, for our planet and the climate.

It cannot be overstated how important preserving the Amazon rainforest is for effective global climate action. The Amazon rainforest is also uniquely rich and diverse. It is home to one in ten species on Earth. Deforestation, mainly caused by human action and climate change, is a serious threat. It causes a drastic loss of species and tropical rainforest.

These fires are directly related to intentional deforestation. Unfortunately, we note with concern that they have been even more severe in recent days in the rainforest of Brazil and across the border in Bolivia and Paraguay. These fires are severely polluting the air, they are killing many species of rainforest plants and animals and they are expelling indigenous people out of their territories.

The EU’s leadership in global climate action and the protection of forests are among the priorities of the Finnish Presidency. Forest fires have devastating consequences for human and animal life. We depend on forests to preserve biodiversity, to limit global warming and to provide people with jobs and livelihoods. Forests will also make an essential contribution to the EU’s aspirations of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. This House discussed the preparations for the UN Climate Action Summit this morning and our debate this afternoon is very relevant to this indeed.

Despite the actions taken so far at EU level and the commitments undertaken at international level, deforestation and forest degradation remain on the rise. The devastating fires in the Amazon region have made the need to step up this effort even more pressing.

In April 2019, the Council adopted conclusions on the progress made in the implementation of the EU forest strategy. On that occasion, the Council stressed the importance of the strategy to ensure the coherence and coordination of the EU and Member States’ policies affecting forests and to promote further the sustainable management of forests. The Agriculture and Fisheries Council will hold a debate next month on the need for a new strategy beyond 2020, building on the same principles but also considering the new policy developments at Member State, EU and international level.

The Council and Parliament have recently received a long—awaited communication from the Commission on stepping up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests. We will examine in detail the list of priority actions proposed in this report and we look forward to your ideas on this matter. The Council is working to provide some feedback to the Commission’s communication in the form of Council conclusions that we hope to adopt in December 2019.

Given that drivers of deforestation go beyond the forestry sector, our intention is to involve, in this exercise, policy experts from connected areas such as environment, agriculture and trade. We look forward to your reactions to this communication too and trust that they will make a valuable contribution to the future course of action.

Let me conclude by underlining that the forest fires in the Amazon region are an urgent global crisis which requires an effective international response. Close cooperation with the countries of the Amazon region is crucial. These countries, such as Brazil, have the full right to lead the response but they need to live up to their commitments. I strongly appeal to the countries in the Amazon Basin and their leaders for urgent action. We are ready to work together with Mr Bolsonaro and others. The EU is ready to support but we need action now.

As the Council Presidency, Finland stands ready to support the EU’s reflection on how it can best contribute. On Finland’s initiative, the EU Foreign Ministers discussed the issue at their informal meeting in Helsinki at the end of the August. The Foreign Ministers agreed on the gravity of the situation and stressed the need for a coordinated and comprehensive EU approach to address the crisis. As the Council Presidency, we will continue to do our best to contribute to ensuring united, consistent and effective EU action on this matter.

 
  
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  Karmenu Vella, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, today we are facing a global biodiversity and climate crisis which is affecting our lives, it is affecting our economies, and it is also affecting our future.

Current forest fires across the globe are releasing great amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, deepening that crisis, not only in the Amazon, but also in other parts of the world, such as Siberia. But the Amazon is a unique forest, unique for the oxygen that we breathe, unique for the biodiversity that it hosts and unique for the health of our planet. I am, therefore, grateful that you have put this issue high on your agenda. Halting deforestation is key and is essential for three main reasons: to stop biodiversity loss, to address climate change and to achieve the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and our commitments under the Paris Agreement.

The degradation and loss of forests have major consequences on stability and security, on human rights, the climate, biodiversity and the health and livelihoods of both local communities and the wider planet. The European Commission is helping address the situation in the Amazon countries affected by forest fires, and is in regular contact with the relevant authorities, including those in Brazil. A number of operational instruments have already been activated to improve the current situation. Following Bolivia’s request, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre has already sent a team of fire-fighting experts to the country. Such assistance could be provided to any affected country upon official request. Also, the Copernicus emergency mapping system has been activated and maps are being produced for the fires in Brazil, in Bolivia and affected parts of Peru and Paraguay. These are in the public domain. The European Union is already financing development projects which are related to forest and land use in the Amazon basin, including in Brazil – for a total of EUR 128 million – and is planning new actions for a total of EUR 28 million. We are in close contact with the Chilean authorities and the Colombian authorities who have been active in coordinating regional efforts to address the situation. At the recent G7 summit, we were engaged in the preparations for a high—level meeting on the Amazon region on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. While the immediate priority is fighting wildfires, it is necessary to address the underlying structural causes, such as agricultural expansion. In July, the Commission adopted the communication stepping up EU election to protect and restore the world’s forests. The communication outlines a comprehensive set of actions, including support for sustainable land—use practices. This entails working with partner countries to reduce pressures on forests and to encourage forest restoration.

For the European Union’s part, we are addressing our consumption footprint on land; we are assessing additional demand—side, regulatory and non-regulatory measures to minimise the risk of importing products associated with deforestation and forest degradation. We are also working to improve the availability and the quality of information on forests and commodity supply chains, inter alia, by establishing an EU observatory on deforestation and forest degradation. Sound scientific information is an important element of the EU’s strategy; collaboration with partner countries is also key, inter alia, to identifying the long-term economic consequences of further deforestation. The Commission is committed to sustained action against deforestation and we stand ready to assist those affected by the recent forest fires in the Amazon and across the globe, in any way that we can, and in close cooperation with these countries’ authorities.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, I want to thank in particular Ms Tuppurainen. She has particular knowledge on forests so we are very happy that under her Presidency we’re having this debate, and indeed the detail which the Commissioner has delivered to us.

I dare say many of the visitors in the Chamber will have seen the forest fires in the Amazon. It’s what motivated me to hold this debate and I am glad that the Group supported us talking about this issue. It really is a question of how globally we can work together, because no nation on its own can solve this problem. But at a time when nations want to be sovereign, is it possible for multilateralism to be strengthened rather than weakened? And pointing the finger at countries doesn’t help. We have to show where the failings are but also acknowledge where progress has been made. So to Brazil, for example, there is action recently around the Leticia Pact with seven other South American countries, Operation Law and Order Guarantee and Operation Green Brazil, but this comes after pressure from the international community. We will all suffer if the Amazon dies and it is already under threat. You have outlined that in great detail.

I was pleased the Commissioner mentioned the need to look at policy coherence around the fact that land is being, if you like, brought into production and forest destroyed for agriculture reasons, and we’ve signed a deal, the Mercosur trade agreement, and we must make sure that the climate and biodiversity commitments contained in that deal with our Mercosur counterparts are honoured. I think that for us in this House will be key.

We do need a carrot and stick approach to this issue. We should also as Europeans put our own hands up and say that we have not always valued forests or biodiversity or done the right thing for the environment, and perhaps in that place of humility we can work better with our colleagues in South America and elsewhere, because in the Arctic, in Indonesia, in the Congo Basin, there are fires burning, turf fires which are releasing massive amounts of carbon. This debate is timely and I thank all those who take part in it.

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, señor comisario, los incendios en la selva amazónica de este verano han sido una verdadera tragedia, un acontecimiento que ha entristecido y movilizado a la comunidad internacional. Y es que el impacto medioambiental, social y económico de esta tragedia va mucho más allá de la cuenca amazónica.

La Amazonia es el pulmón de la tierra, produce el 20 % del oxígeno de nuestro planeta y alberga más especies vegetales que cualquier otro ecosistema. Además, es la casa de más de un millón de indígenas que llevan viviendo allí de forma sostenible desde hace generaciones, y ahora su patrimonio natural tiene que ser defendido. Y conozco perfectamente esta realidad, porque tuve la gran oportunidad de estar durante un mes trabajando como voluntaria con organizaciones no gubernamentales que apoyan a estas comunidades indígenas, que necesitan tener alternativas sostenibles a su medio de vida.

No puedo imaginar cómo se encontrarán hoy tras ver esta situación tan trágica. No es la primera vez que la Amazonia es devorada por las llamas, es cierto, pero este año han aumentado más de un 80 % respecto al año pasado y en las zonas protegidas no deja de aumentar. La búsqueda de oro aumenta la deforestación y el mercurio que se usa contamina el agua, el aire y el alimento de las personas y de los animales.

Esta catástrofe responde a las políticas irresponsables, impulsadas por negacionistas del cambio climático, y lo conocemos perfectamente. El señor Bolsonaro está promoviendo una nueva fiebre del oro, con el apoyo de acaparadores de tierras, al mismo tiempo que ignora la protección del medio ambiente. Para no tener que escuchar la verdad el señor Bolsonaro ha despedido a los responsables del Instituto de Investigación Espacial de Brasil y el Instituto de Medio Ambiente y de Recursos Renovables.

Señor presidente, es el punto de no retorno para el Amazonas y casi el 20 % de la Amazonía ya ha sido deforestada. Porque, más allá del drama medioambiental, los socialdemócratas también estamos muy preocupados por el destino de las poblaciones indígenas y de sus tierras. Estamos presenciando una escalada de violencia en los territorios indígenas en todo Brasil, los asesinatos de líderes indígenas y activistas, como Emira Waiâpi, Dilma Ferreira Silva y Claudionor Costa da Silva.

Desde la Unión Europea seguimos de cerca los esfuerzos regionales por encontrar soluciones y proteger tanto a las personas como al medio ambiente. Tienen todo el apoyo de nuestro grupo y seguiremos colaborando. Pedimos al señor Bolsonaro que cumpla las obligaciones internacionales del Acuerdo sobre el clima de París y las cláusulas medioambientales que se establecen en el Acuerdo con Mercosur. Si el Gobierno hace oídos sordos, aislará a Brasil del resto de la comunidad internacional. Y creo que viene muy a cuento en este debate recordar un proverbio indoamericano: «solo cuando el ultimo árbol este muerto, cuando el último río esté envenenado, el último pez sea atrapado, nos daremos cuenta de que no podemos comer el dinero».

 
  
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  Martin Hojsík, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, this summer was a summer of horror with regard to forest fires. We all stood in shock as we watched the Amazon burn, but the shock got even bigger when we heard Brazilian President Bolsonaro blaming it on the NGOs who were trying to protect the Amazon rainforest, when in reality it was his reckless policies that contributed to the havoc that we saw.

But let’s be honest: the forest was not burning only in the Amazon. This summer, we saw forests burning from Siberia to Alaska, destroying precious habitats and, effectively, the Earth’s lungs. We have to be clear: forest destruction is a global problem. But it is also time for us to admit that we are part of the problem – that not only our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, but also our own policies, our own trade and our own law enforcement are to blame.

It is time to change that. It is time for this House to act. We need to say that the Mercosur Agreement is a bit problematic as it stands, but it would be very cheap to say, ‘let’s just shoot down the Mercosur Agreement and everything is solved’. We need to go much deeper. The new incoming Commission claims that the European Green Deal is the top priority. It should not be only about Europe; it needs to go beyond that. It needs to impact the entire world. If we are serious about saving our planet, and indeed our civilisation, we need to ensure that our agriculture policies do not contribute to deforestation, because right now they do – also in the Amazon. We need to ensure that our trade policies don’t contribute to deforestation, because right now they do. We need to ensure that our energy policies don’t contribute to deforestation, because, also, right now they do. What we need is to change all this – for our own sake, and for the sake of our children.

 
  
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  Heidi Hautala, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, the mostly intentional forest fires in the Amazon have been a wake-up call and now we know better that they are happening elsewhere, to mention the hot spots: Central Africa, South-East Asia, just to mention the most important ones. We also know that to tackle climate change, we need to capture carbon dioxide with all possible means, and the only viable large-scale way available is with the help of forests.

However, forests are being converted to agricultural land and – let us be clear – the Mercosur agreement is intended for exports of beef, soy, coffee and other forest-risk products that drive deforestation and endanger the Amazon region. The Mercosur deal currently does not have a viable mechanism to ensure that the Paris Climate Agreement and other international environmental commitments would be respected. It has no teeth.

There are no sanctions in that sustainable-development chapter and let me say that, as I understand it, the Commission’s communication on deforestation and forest degradation contains one promise and that is to look into regulatory measures on the demand side, because we need badly European legislation which makes it sure for the European consumers that they are not buying deforestation.

We are also complicit, and I would like to put a question to the Finnish Presidency because I know that it has now been decided that the Agriculture Council will deal with the communication on deforestation and forest degradation. How come only the Agriculture Council? Why not the Environmental Council, for instance?

 
  
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  André Rougé, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, la forêt amazonienne brûle, provoquant la catastrophe écologique que nous connaissons tous. Par la voix du président Macron, la France s’est émue, et nous nous associons tous à cette émotion.

Pour autant, le rassemblement national aurait aimé que le président Macron s’émeuve de la même façon des incendies au moins aussi graves qui dévastent les forêts d’Afrique subsaharienne. À l’issue d’une passe d’armes de cour de récréation, indigne des chefs d’État des sixième et neuvième puissances mondiales, Emmanuel Macron a menacé de ne pas signer le Mercosur. Chacun sait que la culture sur brûlis sert à l’alimentation du bétail canadien du CETA, traité catastrophique pour les éleveurs français.

Le Rassemblement national et sa présidente Marine Le Pen se sont opposés au CETA, tout comme nous sommes opposés au Mercosur, parce que c’est un traité désastreux pour les agriculteurs français.

Le président Macron a fini par effectuer le même constat et, de la façon la plus cynique, s’est emparé du désastre amazonien pour menacer de ne pas signer le Mercosur. Personne n’en disconviendra ici, l’écologie et l’environnement sont des sujets trop sérieux et trop engageants pour l’avenir de la planète pour que l’on en use à des fins de manœuvres politiciennes intérieures.

En la matière, charité bien ordonnée commençant par soi-même, nous aimerions du président Macron qu’il mette fin au démantèlement de l’ONF, qu’il se préoccupe du traitement des déchets à l’île de la Réunion, qu’il se préoccupe de la montée des eaux à Mayotte, qu’il se préoccupe du risque radioactif induit par le dôme américain des îles Marshall menaçant nos compatriotes de Polynésie française, qu’il se préoccupe davantage de l’environnement de nos compatriotes de Guyane en préservant au mieux la part française de l’Amazonie, qu’il se préoccupe enfin de la catastrophe environnementale des algues sargasses en Martinique et en Guadeloupe.

Malheureusement, après toute cette agitation et tous ces effets de manche, Emmanuel Macron ne fera rien sur ces sujets et finira par signer le Mercosur.

 
  
  

Puhetta johti HEIDI HAUTALA
varapuhemies

 
  
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  Hermann Tertsch, en nombre del Grupo ECR. – Señora presidenta, yo estoy oyendo mucho aquí hablar de Bolsonaro. Se está culpando a Bolsonaro de toda la tragedia que está sucediendo. Y nos estamos olvidando —creo que hay una especie de ojo tuerto en este Parlamento— de las cosas que están pasando realmente. Porque de lo que se está hablando, por ejemplo — hablaban de ello ahora los socialistas españoles— es de la búsqueda del oro y de la devastación de la búsqueda del oro. Esa se está produciendo sobre todo en el Amazonas de Venezuela, se está produciendo bajo el control del señor Maduro, bajo el control de los grupos guerrilleros del ELN colombiano, que están allí gracias al régimen comunista del señor Maduro y del chavismo.

Tenemos en este momento ardiendo en Bolivia —han ardido ya— dos millones y medio de hectáreas; en Bolivia, no en Brasil, en Bolivia. Nadie habla de Bolivia, porque el señor Morales, que ha aumentado y disparado el cultivo de la coca para la fabricación de la cocaína, ha empezado a quemar los rastrojos, y de ahí vienen gran parte de las catástrofes. Y aquí parece que solo pensamos en Bolsonaro.

 
  
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  Δημήτριος Παπαδημούλης, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας GUE/NGL. – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, όσα μας είπε το Συμβούλιο και η Επιτροπή αλλά και όσα μας λένε οι επιστήμονες και η ίδια η πραγματικότητα επιβάλλουν σε εμάς όχι μόνο να λέμε λόγια αλλά και να αναλάβουμε δράση. Δεν αρκεί μια συζήτηση. Χρειάζεται να καταλήξουμε σε συμπεράσματα. Να λάβουμε μέτρα. Να ασκήσουμε πίεση για να σταματήσει η αποψίλωση του Αμαζονίου και η καταστροφή του μεγαλύτερου πνεύμονα του πλανήτη. Και για αυτόν ακριβώς τον λόγο πιστεύω ότι, όταν οι αριθμοί δείχνουν ότι επί της θητείας του Bolsonaro έχει αυξηθεί κατά 80% μέσα σε ένα χρόνο η αποψίλωση του Αμαζονίου και όταν μέσα σε λίγους μήνες ο Αμαζόνιος έχει αποψιλωθεί περισσότερο από ό,τι τα τελευταία τρία χρόνια, πρέπει να προβούμε σε περισσότερες ενέργειες.

Και είναι ντροπή για το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο ότι η συζήτηση αυτή δεν θα καταλήξει σε ψήφισμα με ευθύνη μιας συμμαχίας των πολιτικών ομάδων της δεξιάς και της ακροδεξιάς. Πιστεύω ότι πρέπει να καταλήξουμε σε μέτρα και να αξιοποιήσουμε και το εργαλείο της Mercosur για να ασκήσουμε πίεση στον ακροδεξιό Bolsonaro.

 
  
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  Κωνσταντίνος Παπαδάκης (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η τεράστια περιβαλλοντική καταστροφή στο δάσος-παγκόσμιο πνεύμονα του Αμαζονίου είναι αποτέλεσμα της επιδρομής μεγάλων καπιταλιστικών αγροτοβιομηχανικών επιχειρήσεων, εξορυκτικών δραστηριοτήτων, ομίλων ξυλείας, καθώς και χρηματοπιστωτικών ιδρυμάτων που τις χρηματοδοτούν. Η αντιδραστική κυβέρνηση Bolsonaro κλιμακώνει την αντιπεριβαλλοντική πολιτική προηγούμενων κυβερνήσεων, έχοντας παραδώσει την περιοχή στην επιχειρηματική εκμετάλλευση για παραγωγή βιοκαυσίμων, αγροτοβιομηχανικών προϊόντων αλυσίδας, εξορύξεις και ανεξέλεγκτη υλοτομία.

Η αποψίλωση του Αμαζονίου φέρει και τη σφραγίδα ευρωενωσιακών μονοπωλίων. Για αυτό είναι υποκριτική η ανησυχία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και των κυβερνήσεών της, που έχει να κάνει και με αντιθέσεις σχετικά με τη συμφωνία ελεύθερων συναλλαγών μεταξύ της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και της Mercosur. Είναι ενδεικτικό ότι, παρά τα παχιά λόγια για την κατάσταση του κλίματος, το Ευρωκοινοβούλιο – και με την ψήφο του Ευρωπαϊκού Λαϊκού Κόμματος – αρνήθηκε ακόμα και να εκδώσει ψήφισμα για τον Αμαζόνιο.

Στηρίζουμε την πάλη για να διατεθούν όλα τα αναγκαία μέσα, οι υποδομές και οι πόροι για την κατάσβεση των πυρκαγιών στον Αμαζόνιο, την αποκατάσταση των καταστροφών και την αναδάσωση των καμένων εκτάσεων. Να σταματήσει, άμεσα, στην περιοχή κάθε επιχειρηματική δραστηριότητα!

 
  
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  Peter Liese (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die Waldbrände im Amazonas sind eine riesige Katastrophe. Ich will das nur an einem Beispiel deutlich machen: Beim Pariser Klimaabkommen hat sich Brasilien ja nicht verpflichtet, wesentlich die Emissionen aus der Industrie oder aus anderen Bereichen zu reduzieren, sondern die wesentlichen Verpflichtungen Brasiliens im Pariser Abkommen sind im Bereich Wald – Schutz des Waldes und Wiederaufforstung. Und wenn das dann überhaupt nicht funktioniert, dann ist das ein ganz großes Problem auch für das Weltklima.

Aber: Es gibt auch Waldbrände andernorts, und darüber sollten wir mindestens genauso intensiv sprechen. Die Brände in Sibirien und Alaska sind für das Klima eine riesige Bedrohung, weil dort auch große Mengen Methan entweichen, das noch schädlicher für das Klima ist als CO2. Also jetzt keine primitive Diskussion: Einige verlangen, Mercosur zu stoppen – man könnte theoretisch den ganzen Handel mit diesen Ländern stoppen, aber sind wir dann einen Schritt weiter? Haben wir dann noch ein Druckmittel? Haben wir dann unter Kontrolle, was China und andere machen? Ich glaube, der Weg des Dialoges – natürlich Druck ausüben und auch Mercosur nicht unkritisch durchwinken, aber offen damit umgehen und sehen, wie wir das Problem wirklich an der Wurzel packen können.

Und wir müssen auch selbst Verantwortung übernehmen. Wir haben gestern über die Wälder in der Europäischen Union gesprochen. Wir müssen unseren Wald schützen, vielleicht auch sogar in Europa über Wiederaufforstung reden, und für beides brauchen wir ein Follow-up. Es ist vielleicht gut, dass wir jetzt heute zu beiden Themen – Wälder in Europa und Wälder international – keine Entschließung haben, aber bei beiden Themen müssen wir handeln, sorgfältig überlegen, was richtig ist, und dann entscheiden, und das sollten wir in den nächsten Wochen gemeinsam tun.

 
  
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  Miriam Dalli (S&D). – Madam President, what we are speaking about today is the world’s largest rainforest approaching the point of irreversible destruction. The Amazon matters to us because it matters to the global climate. It’s a carbon sink that can mitigate global warming. If the Amazon rainforest were to die, the large amount of greenhouse gas it would release would speed up the climate change process. Of further concern are the hundreds of fires that have been recorded this year in the Arctic and subarctic. It is estimated that these fires alone have produced about 100 million tonnes of CO2.

But this is a vicious circle: if the international community and the European Union does not step up its work to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the rate of global warming will not slow down and these fires will continue to spread. Provisions to protect the Amazon rainforest are part of the agreement reached between the EU and Mercosur, and it is in everyone’s interest that such provisions are enforced. In the same spirit, rich signatories of the Paris Agreement who pledged to pay developing ones to plan and plant carbon—consuming trees have to do so. Finally, all of us have a responsibility in helping to change current consumption patterns, which are harmful. It is strong European global collective action that is required.

 
  
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  Nicolae Ştefănuță (Renew). – Madam President, the gallery, as you see, is packed with young people and they care more than all of us about climate change. Forest fires and natural disasters are no longer an issue for individual countries to tackle in isolation. Unfortunately, Amazon fires are part of a greater global trend. The number of global fires increased compared to last year and that has happened exponentially. August 2018 saw 16 000 fires, August 2019 saw 79 000 fires – that is an increase of more than 400%.

Europe cannot be on the sidelines when other countries suffer from disasters and need help. No country in the world is immune to such disasters. No country in the world can handle them on their own. It is essential to have concerted action to stop and recover from these calamities. They accelerate global warming and increase the overall temperature of the planet. We need to strengthen our own civil protection response and boost our ability to deal with natural disasters. We have to be ready to complement national capacities when they are overwhelmed. I’m saying this because just now, the Council has cut these funds and we need to re—establish them. It’s not just about forest fires; it’s about people, it’s about their future. It’s about the future of these young people over there.

 
  
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  Yannick Jadot (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, il y a deux façons d’aborder cette question.

La première, c’est évidemment l’émotion et la dénonciation. Comment ne pas pleurer cette forêt magnifique qui se détruit et les peuples qui y habitent qui disparaissent? Comment ne pas dénoncer Bolsonaro, un climato-sceptique qui veut vendre son pays et l’Amazonie à l’agro-business, dont le gouvernement comme le précédent est corrompu par JBS, le leader mondial de la viande bovine, et qui est xénophobe, homophobe, sexiste?

Puis il y a une autre façon d’aborder la question, qui ne supprime ni l’émotion, ni la dénonciation: c’est de voir quelle est notre responsabilité dans ces feux de forêt qui n’ont rien de conjoncturels.

Monsieur le Commissaire, vous avez réussi l’exploit de ne pas dire «Mercosur» ni «politique agricole commune». J’ai entendu les représentants du PPE, de Renew, même des sociaux-démocrates, nous dire: ce serait bien, quand même, de respecter l’accord du Mercosur.

Mais si vous ne voyez pas que l’accord du Mercosur – que le Brésil a signé parce qu’il va exporter du soja et de la viande bovine – est structurellement destructeur de l’Amazonie et structurellement climaticide, si vous ne voyez pas que la proposition de la politique agricole commune, portée par la Commission et que vous soutenez, va renforcer les importations de soja brésilien, à ce moment-là, vous ne voyez pas votre responsabilité, vous ne participez pas à l’arrêt des feux de forêt, de la destruction de l’Amazonie et des peuples qui y habitent! Alors un peu de sérieux dans ce Parlement!

 
  
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  Malin Björk (GUE/NGL). – Fru talman! Amazonas står i lågor. Dessa världens lungor som avgör huruvida vi kommer att klara klimatet, eller inte. Fortsätter avskogningen i den här takten kommer vi att få en uppvärmningseffekt som inte går att stoppa. Och det kommer att vara katastrofalt för den biologiska mångfalden.

Brasiliens president Bolsonaro är medskyldig till den här situationen. Han för inte bara en politik som är farlig för kvinnorättsaktivister, HBTQ-personer, ursprungsbefolkningar och fattiga brasilianare. Hans politik är en fara för hela världen – hans avskogningpolitik. Det är därför inte konstigt att det är många som har reagerat och som kräver att vi agerar. Jag håller med föregående talare. Det krävs att vi agerar nu. Det finns flera sätt att göra det, men ett uppenbart sätt att göra det är naturligtvis att frysa förhandlingarna om Mercosuravtalet. Frysa det och skriva in att Parisavtalet måste respekteras, att det ska vara bindande och avskogningen av Amazonas måste sluta. Det ska bli bindande. Nu inleds en veckas aktioner av unga människor. De kräver av oss att vi gör allt som står i vår makt. Ja vi tänker i alla fall göra det.

 
  
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  Eleonora Evi (NI). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, siamo noi europei corresponsabili degli incendi in Amazzonia e nel resto del mondo. I nostri consumi di carne, di olio di palma, l'importazione di mangimi per allevamenti intensivi, in particolare di soia e di mais, in larga parte OGM, tutto questo contribuisce a creare un'elevata pressione sulle foreste nei paesi terzi ed accelera la deforestazione.

La priorità numero uno quindi deve essere ridurre l'impronta dei consumi dell'Unione europea che hanno un impatto diretto sulla deforestazione, e non è retorica ricordare che nel mondo ci sono 820 milioni di persone che non hanno cibo da mangiare e, viceversa, fino a poco tempo fa un miliardo di persone era in sovrappeso. Oggi le ultime rilevazioni ci dicono che sono due i miliardi di persone in sovrappeso e 4 milioni muoiono per troppo cibo.

Nel mondo si produce tanto, troppo cibo insostenibile e malsano, cibo spesso sprecato, cibo spazzatura che mette a rischio le persone e il pianeta. La nuova Commissione dovrà affrontare questi problemi alla radice, nella PAC e nella politica commerciale dell'Unione europea se vogliamo veramente impegnarci seriamente per il raggiungimento degli obiettivi di sviluppo sostenibile e dell'agenda 2030 e se vogliamo davvero impegnarci per ridurre povertà, fame, diseguaglianze e sfruttamento indiscriminato delle risorse nel mondo.

 
  
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  Adam Jarubas (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Amazonia – płuca świata i rezerwuar bioróżnorodności – jest wycinana, pada ofiarą pożarów. Większość z nich jest z premedytacją zaprószana, by zyskać miejsce pod uprawy, również paszowe. Ta sytuacja musi ulec zmianie. Jednak dotychczas nie byliśmy w stanie wpłynąć na państwa, na terenie których dochodzi do wylesiania.

Wspomniana już dzisiaj została umowa handlowa z państwami Mercosuru, która może być wykorzystana do wyegzekwowania przestrzegania przez te państwa zapisów porozumienia paryskiego i wstrzymania wylesiania Amazonii. Jeśli umowa ma być przyjęta i przynieść pożądane efekty, państwa Mercosuru nie tylko muszą spełniać kryteria klimatyczne i zrównoważonego rozwoju, ale również muszą wdrożyć równoważne z europejskimi kryteria dobrostanu zwierząt, bezpieczeństwa żywności, jakie musi spełnić rolnik francuski, niemiecki czy polski.

Ale umowa ta nie jest jedyną formą presji, którą posiadamy. Wiemy, że europejskie banki inwestują miliony euro w południowoamerykańskie niespełniające kryteriów zrównoważoności, prowadzące do wylesiania Amazonii uprawy soi. Bez odrobienia lekcji na naszym podwórku negocjacje z krajami Mercosuru nie będą skuteczne. Musimy wstrzymać pożary Amazonii, ale nie możemy dopuścić do tego, by kosztem było wpuszczenie do Europy nieuczciwej konkurencji w rolnictwie oraz narażenie zdrowia Europejczyków przez dopuszczenie do obrotu żywności o niesprawdzalnej jakości.

 
  
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  Kati Piri (S&D). – Madam President, these horrible forest fires turned the spotlight on the plight of the Amazon basin’s 2.7 million strong indigenous population. These 350 ethnic groups – of which 60 remain largely isolated – strongly rely on the rainforest’s incredible richness, but their living conditions are in steep decline. Government—sponsored intruders looking to capitalise on the rainforest’s resources are destroying their ways of life through logging, fire and farming. These fires were not an accident: they were deliberately set to make way for agriculture, mining, and other developments. Neither is it accidental that the number of forest fires increased sharply since President Bolsonaro took office. His development policy rests on making indigenous people leave their ancestral lands.

The protests of hundreds of indigenous activists against these discriminatory policies have fallen mainly on deaf ears, and we must amplify their voices. We must therefore continue to use our economic power, but also our foreign policy tools, to defend human dignity, biodiversity and our planet. Let me end with a statement made by Marcos Mayoruna, leader of the Matsés tribe: ‘The forest isn’t just for us indigenous. It’s for everyone.’

 
  
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  Antony Hook (Renew). – Madam President, the skies over São Paulo have turned black from the smoke of the Amazon rainforest burning. These rainforests are the lungs of our world, which we all need for an atmosphere to breathe.

The indigenous people who live there want only the basic human right to be left alone, and these fires are destroying their homes. Many people in South East England have contacted me about this. The UK Parliament has been shut down, but this Parliament still gives us a voice. Brazil’s economy is growing – GDP per person has grown by almost a quarter in ten years – and indeed, whether the Mercosur agreement can survive this inferno will be in question.

Mr Bolsonaro, if you burn this rainforest, you will burn Brazil’s chance for good relations with Europe. It is not necessary to burn the forest to make wealth; it is necessary to put the fires out to save our planet.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE), blue-card question. – (inaudible) cross-party letter to Commissioner Malmström, signed by many people in this Parliament, and it drew attention to Bolsonaro’s ecocidal policies and said that we should not sign up to the trade agreement unless there were legally binding environmental and human rights standards. At that point, members of the Liberal Group did not sign up to that letter, and so I would like to ask Mr Hook: is he ready now to pledge to vote against the EU—Mercosur trade deal as long as it does not include legally binding provisions on environmental protection and human rights?

 
  
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  Antony Hook (Renew), blue-card answer. – I’m afraid I do not know of the letter of which my colleague speaks. I think this is a matter that is too complicated to be reduced to a yes-or-no question or a single letter; it needs to be looked at in detail. But I’m certainly an advocate that our trade agreements in Europe should be used to promote human rights, to promote liberal values, and to promote fairness and indeed protection of the environment.

 
  
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  Anna Cavazzini (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin! Der Amazonas brennt, und jede Minute stirbt ein Stück der grünen Lunge unseres Planeten. Brasiliens rechtsextremer Präsident Bolsonaro legt mit seiner Politik gegen das Pariser Klimaabkommen, gegen Menschenrechte und gegen Indigene die Lunte für die zerstörerischen Brände im Amazonas.

Doch auch die europäische Politik trägt Verantwortung. Allein im letzten Jahr importierte die EU aus Brasilien 60 000 Tonnen Ethanol, 70 000 Tonnen Rindfleisch und fast fünfeinhalb Millionen Tonnen Soja. Für diese wahnsinnigen Größenordnungen wird jeden Tag kostbarer Regenwald gerodet.

Die Erde steht in Flammen, und wir zündeln weiter, denn das Mercosur-Abkommen ist ein Brandbeschleuniger. Noch mehr Rindfleisch, noch mehr Ethanol – das bedeutet noch mehr Abholzung und noch mehr Brände im Amazonas. Und Bolsonaro und die Agrarlobby sagen danke.

Wir müssen jetzt Verantwortung übernehmen für unseren Planeten und für unser Klima. Die Proteste auf der Straße, zum Beispiel der globale Klimastreik diese Woche, zeigen doch, dass wir als Parlament Verantwortung übernehmen müssen. Wir müssen Mercosur stoppen, und wir müssen unsere Lieferketten freihalten von Entwaldung, von Menschenrechtsverletzung und von Ausbeutung. Wir haben hier im Parlament die Möglichkeit, Globalisierung gerecht zu gestalten. Jetzt ist Zeit dafür!

 
  
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  Martin Buschmann (GUE/NGL). – Frau Präsidentin! Seit Wochen wüten im brasilianischen Regenwald so viele Feuer wie niemals zuvor. Der Hauptgrund ist unser maßloser Fleischkonsum, für den diese Weide- und Ackerflächen gerodet werden. Diese verbrecherische Brandrodung wird seit Jahren betrieben; sie vernichtet wertvolle Tier- und Pflanzenarten sowie den Lebensraum indigener Völker. Die unzähligen Tiere, die qualvoll in den Flammen gestorben sind, die verbrannten Pflanzen und die Menge an CO2, die dabei freigesetzt wurde, sind einige schlimme Folgen.

Die erhebliche Beschädigung, Zerstörung oder der Verlust von Ökosystem hat einen Namen: Ökozid. Wie Völkermord, Kriegsverbrechen und Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit war der Ökozid von den Vereinten Nationen als Völkerrechtsverbrechen definiert worden, doch die USA, England, Frankreich und die Niederlande bestanden darauf, Ökozid aus der Liste der Völkerrechtsverbrechen zu streichen. Die Konsequenzen sind katastrophal: Umweltsünden werden lediglich mit Bußgeldern bestraft. Diese riskieren die Konzerne aber gerne, denn ihr Raubbau bringt ihnen ein Vielfaches ein. Das muss ein Ende haben!

 
  
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  Christophe Hansen (PPE). – Madam President, this summer, our planet was ablaze. Wildfires wiped out forests in the Amazon, in Asia and in Africa. In Europe, three times more wildfires occurred than in every single year between 2008 and 2018. In the Arctic region, burning peat urges us to swift action. We need to tackle this disaster for all of humanity at global level. Rather than scapegoating trade agreements, as done by Mr Jadot, who has already left after having done his show, we should use this sense of urgency to advance the debate on how to better leverage trade policy to export our environmental standards and fight climate change on a global scale. The prospect of the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement is a unique opportunity to hold Brazil to its commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement, such as to restore and reforest 12 million hectares and to attain zero illegal deforestation by 2030, as already stated by my colleague, Peter Liese. Trade policy is no silver bullet for these problems, but it sure can be helpful. For example, through plurilateral agreements on trade in environmental goods, it now lies in our hands to work on the appropriate flanking measures, such as monitoring and certification schemes. Not blame games, but cooperation is the way forward. Not defeatism, but the conviction that this man-made disaster has man-made solutions should guide us.

 
  
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  Jytte Guteland (S&D). – Fru talman, herr kommissionär! Skogen är våra gröna lungor. Världens skogar spelar en helt avgörande roll för framtiden, för klimatet, för vår möjlighet att ställa om till en hållbar framtid. Vi vet att den ena lungan är att skogen med sina växande träd absorberar och tar upp koldioxid från atmosfären och spelar därmed en helt avgörande roll för att vi ska kunna leva upp till Parisavtalets temperaturmål. Men vi vet också att skogen med den andra lungan kan bidra med en ny teknik som också är väldigt viktig för vår omställning. Men just nu så handlar det med rätta om Amazonas regnskog som är särskilt viktig.

Det är inte för inte som just Amazonas regnskog kallas för världens lungor. Den här skogen absorberar två miljarder ton koldioxid om året. Ni hörde rätt. Det motsvarar fem procent av världens samlade utsläpp. Det här är den absolut viktigaste källan för att vi ska kunna leva upp till Parisavtalet, att vi respekterar regnskogen. Bränderna i Amazonas är ett hot mot vår framtid. Vi behöver agera ansvarsfullt och se till att ta ledartröjan i att försvara regnskogen.

 
  
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  Stéphane Bijoux (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, je viens de l'outre- mer français et je veux porter ici le cri d'alarme, toujours aussi persistant, des peuples d'Amazonie, toujours autant menacés par des feux de forêt dévastateurs.

Toute l'humanité est concernée, nous l'avons dit, mais en première ligne, il y a près de 300 000 Européens. Ils vivent en Guyane française, dans la forêt amazonienne. La France et donc l'Europe, nous avons une frontière commune avec le Brésil, qui brûle, et cela nous donne une légitimité et même une responsabilité augmentée pour agir et pour protéger l'Amazonie.

Comme d'habitude, il y a bien évidemment le fond et la forme. Agir vite et bien, c'est une question d'urgence, mais agir dans le cadre d'une procédure, d'une démarche parlementaire structuré, déterminée, coordonnée, c'est une question de cohérence et d'efficacité.

Je nous demande d'utiliser tous les leviers disponibles pour qu'en Amazonie, nous ayons une stratégie et une exigence de respect, de respect, bien évidemment, des objectifs de développement durable, de respect de la fragilité de la biodiversité, de respect de la force des populations locales et de leurs cultures ancestrales et de respect, bien évidemment, des engagements qui ont été pris lors des accords de Paris.

 
  
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  Bas Eickhout (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I think everyone was shocked to see what we saw this summer with the Amazon fires, and rightfully so. We have been discussing here the Mercosur trade deal, which is designed to improve and to enhance trade between, for example, Brazil, and Europe. This is not about a blame game. This is to my colleagues in the European People’s Party Group (EPP) – because I really would recommend you to read what’s in it. If you are looking at preventing deforestation, in the current Mercosur trade deal, you will only find it somewhere down the line in the trade and sustainable development chapter. The only things that are being said is to encourage trade in products from sustainably managed forests and to promote, as appropriate and with prior informed consent, the inclusion of forest-based local communities and indigenous people. That’s only talking about encouraging and promoting, whereas the rest of the Mercosur trade deal is very binding. This shows you that this trade deal has totally bizarre priorities: more trade and when it’s about sustainability, promoting and encouraging. That’s the language that we are having here and that’s the question to the Commission and to the Council: do you want to change this language in order to make sure that we have binding rules in place instead of these very weak chapters that we have now in the current Mercosur trade deal?

 
  
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  Emmanuel Maurel (GUE/NGL). – Madame la Présidente, nous sommes évidemment toutes et tous effarés par la situation en Amazonie. Mais on ne peut pas se contenter de déplorer ou de condamner. Il faut savoir identifier les causes et aussi en tirer les conséquences politiques.

La première des causes est la politique criminelle de M. Bolsonaro qui démantèle les agences environnementales, qui détruit les habitats des peuples autochtones et qui utilise toujours plus de pesticides toxiques.

La deuxième cause est aussi un modèle économique, celui de l’agro-business brésilien, qui est fondé sur l’exportation et qui a besoin de toujours plus de surface, notamment pour le soja.

Mais notre responsabilité à nous – parce qu’il faut arrêter d’être hypocrite, j’ai entendu le collègue de droite disant que le Mercosur va inciter M. Bolsonaro à être vertueux. Mais enfin, c’est une blague! Une mauvaise blague, d’ailleurs. La réalité est que le Mercosur, cela est écrit noir sur blanc, c’est plus d’éthanol, plus de sucre, plus de viande, c’est donc une incitation incroyable à la déforestation. C’est un texte climaticide.

Alors, chers collègues, et surtout de la droite et de Renew, soyez cohérents, soyez logiques, si vraiment vous regrettez cette situation, alors rejetez le Mercosur.

 
  
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  Edina Tóth (PPE). – Elnök Asszony! Évek óta látjuk az erdőtüzek pusztító hatását, amelyek közül külön kiemelést érdemel az Amazonas vidékén bekövetkezett katasztrófa, amelyet rendkívül súlyos ügynek tartok. Véleményem szerint az Európai Unió feladata, hogy minden anyagi és technikai segítséget megadjon az érintetteknek és a rászorulóknak. Úgy gondolom, hogy az erdőirtással szemben úgy célszerű fellépni, hogy az erdőirtás mögött húzódó gazdasági okokat próbáljuk meg orvosolni. Örömmel láttam, hogy az új Európai Bizottság prioritásként kezeli az erdők fokozott védelmét. Fontosnak tartom a témában most tárgyalás alatt álló bizottsági közleményben felsorolt tervezett intézkedések végrehajtását, továbbá javaslom azok kibővítését az erdőirtás gazdasági okainak megszüntetésére irányuló intézkedésekkel.

Az erdők védelme, az erdők fogyásának megállítása globális kérdés. Fontos, hogy az Európai Unió és tagállamai saját területeiken is ösztönözzék az új erdők telepítését. Magyarországon a kormány kulcskérdésként tekint az erdőtelepítések támogatására. Idén több mint a duplájára emelte az erdőtelepítéshez igényelhető támogatások összegét, és megnövelte azok igénybevételének időtartamát.

 
  
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  Delara Burkhardt (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Die Brände im Amazonas sind nicht nur ein Unglück der Natur. Sie sind auch Folge menschlichen Handelns. Durch Brandrodung werden Flächen landwirtschaftlich nutzbar gemacht, rein deshalb, weil der Schutz unserer natürlichen Lebensgrundlagen weniger lukrativ ist.

Unser Konsum, unser Handel tragen eine Mitverantwortung, die die Kommission in ihrer Mitteilung zum Schutz der internationalen Wälder ja auch anerkannt hat. Jetzt müssen aber Taten folgen. Wenn wir es ernst meinen, werden wir keinem EU-Mercosur-Vertrag zustimmen, der keine verbindlichen, einklagbaren Regeln zum Schutz der Wälder, Respekt der Menschenrechte und zur Umsetzung des Pariser Klimaabkommens enthält. Bloße Absichtserklärungen – das zeigt ja der Fall Bolsonaro bestens – zeigen noch keine Wirkung. Der Wald muss im Mittelpunkt stehen, wenn wir die Klimakatastrophe und das Massensterben der Arten stoppen wollen.

2020 kann die EU ihre Vorreiterrolle beweisen, wenn auf UN-Ebene ein internationales Artenschutzabkommen verhandelt wird und die weitere Umsetzung des Pariser Klimaabkommens. Hunderttausend junge Menschen werden auch Freitag wieder auf der Straße stehen, weil sie nicht nur Worte von uns hören, sondern Taten sehen wollen. Lassen Sie uns sie nicht enttäuschen!

 
  
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  Frédérique Ries (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, c'est un plaisir de vous voir présider ce débat en particulier, merci aussi au commissaire Vella pour ce qui sera peut-être l'un de ses derniers débats avec nous.

L'Amazonie brûle, un feu qui ravage la plus grande forêt de la planète, qui enflamme les opinions et qui dynamite les relations diplomatiques. L'Amazonie qui brûle, c'est toute une région qui suffoque et c'est le monde qui souffre. Les responsabilités, on l'a dit, des gouvernements Bolsonaro et Morales dans cette catastrophe sont accablantes, car il est terrible ce cercle vicieux. De puits carbone quelles furent, ces forêts deviennent émettrices en relâchant dans l'atmosphère du CO2 qu'elles séquestrent depuis des siècles.

Et nous sommes l'un des principaux importateurs des produits issus de la déforestation: huile de palme, cacao, maïs, bois, viande et bien sûr le soja brésilien. En résumé, un produit sur 10 est associé à la déforestation et consommé en Europe. Notre réponse doit être à la hauteur et transversale. Une mesure seulement, puisque le temps m'est compté, c'est un label, créer un label, une certification de l'Union pour identifier et promouvoir ses produits zéro déforestation.

 
  
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  Marie Toussaint (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, l’Amazonie brûle et les feux qui la ravagent embrasent notre dernière barricade face au dérèglement climatique.

La multiplication des incendies n’est pas seulement liée à la sécheresse. Elle est liée aux intérêts économiques qui sacrifient les droits de la nature. En Amazonie, on exproprie, on déforeste, on incendie au nom de la seule recherche du profit.

Ne regardons pas ailleurs, avec l’air de ceux qui ne sont pas concernés. Ces entreprises agroalimentaires ou extractivistes sont aussi européennes. Ces entreprises ne sont aujourd’hui tenues par aucune règle, aucun devoir de vigilance. Et parmi les principaux pollueurs du monde, comment peut-on tolérer que Total et Shell, ces deux pétroliers européens, ne soient même pas tenus de respecter l’accord de Paris?

Il est temps d’agir. Quand l’Europe reconnaîtra-t-elle enfin les droits de la nature, les communs planétaires, les écocides? Vous qui nous parlez de défendre notre mode de vie, je vous le demande: quand défendrez-vous un mode de vie compatible avec notre avenir? L’Europe responsable est une Europe qui respecte les limites planétaires et le vivant.

 
  
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  Sira Rego (GUE/NGL). – Señora presidenta, arde el Amazonas. El planeta se queda sin tiempo. A estas alturas, y con la grave crisis ecológica, necesitamos actuar con firmeza.

Se han citado ya algunos de los impactos de estos incendios: pérdida de biodiversidad, destrucción de la selva para fomentar los intereses de la industria cárnica, comunidades indígenas que pierden su territorio. Y, además, estamos viendo la incompetencia de Bolsonaro y su Gobierno de extrema derecha, incapaces de afrontar con seriedad y responsabilidad el problema y preocupados tan solo por repartir el pastel entre las oligarquías. Eso sí, con la ayuda de las políticas comerciales de la UE.

Por eso, no basta con destinar fondos europeos, y mucho menos permitir que un neofascista los maneje. Debemos asumir las consecuencias de nuestro modelo económico.

Hace un momento, la representante del Consejo nos pedía propuestas. Aquí le dejo algunas: la paralización de Mercosur, un acuerdo que es parte del problema; que dejemos de importar carne de forma masiva y de sostener modelos de producción y consumo que explotan la capacidad del planeta. Pero, sobre todo, que dejemos de ser cómplices de quienes siembran la muerte.

 
  
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  Puhemies. – Haluaisin nyt tehdä ilmoituksen. Meillä on vielä 20 pyydettyä puheenvuoroa tässä keskustelussa, joka on hyvin tärkeä, ja on tärkeää, että tästä puhutaan. Meillä on myös puheenvuorolistan ulkopuolisia pyyntöjä niin paljon, 12 kappaletta, että koska olemme istunnossa jäljessä, en voi niitä kaikkia myöntää. Näin avoimuuden nimissä ajattelin nyt luetella ne jäsenet, jotka tulevat saamaan keskustelun jälkeen puheenvuorolistan ulkopuolelta puheevuoron. He ovat jäsenet Arias Echeverría, Agius Saliba, Avram, Joveva, Kelleher, Chowns ja Konečná. Valitettavasti te muut tulette pettymään. En voi nyt tälle asialle muuta.

 
  
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  Hildegard Bentele (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kollegen, liebe Zuhörer! Die Nachrichten und Bilder aus dem Amazonasgebiet sind schrecklich; das haben viele vor mir schon deutlich hervorgehoben. Wenn man sich vor Augen führt, dass der Wald nicht nur in Südamerika, sondern auch in Russland, in Kanada und im Kongo großflächig brennt und abgeholzt wird und selbst viele Waldgebiete in der EU in einem besorgniserregenden Zustand sind, dann müssen wir uns als EU natürlich fragen: Was können wir tun, um diese lebensnotwendigen, unentbehrlichen CO2-Speicher zu erhalten?

Meine erste Antwort darauf ist: Die EU muss mit einer Stimme sprechen. Genauso wie bei der Aushandlung von Handelsabkommen muss die EU in Zukunft beim Schutz der Wälder ihr ganzes Gewicht von 28 Mitgliedstaaten in die Waagschale werfen und Gesicht und Profil zeigen. Und wir sollten zweitens Umwelt- und Klimaschutz zu einem festen Bestandteil unserer Entwicklungszusammenarbeit und der EU-Diplomatie machen.

Wir stehen jetzt zu Beginn einer neuen Legislatur. Eine neue Kommission nimmt ihre Arbeit auf. Und ganz ehrlich: Mir fehlt das Thema Umwelt- und Klimaschutz in den Mission Statements von Josep Borrell und Jutta Urpilainen. Klimaschutz muss per se international erfolgen, und deshalb kann man sich einen Green New Deal nicht nur EU—intern vornehmen, sondern wir müssen diesen weltweit vorantreiben und im Falle des Waldschutzes ganz konkret in der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit Gelder für Zertifizierung, für alternative Erwerbsmöglichkeiten und für Aufforstung bereitstellen. Lassen Sie uns in den nächsten Wochen die Chance nutzen, unser neues Entwicklungshilfeinstrument dementsprechend auszurichten.

 
  
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  Isabel Santos (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, os incêndios florestais na região amazónica chamaram a nossa atenção não apenas para a extensão da destruição daquele que é chamado um dos “pulmões do planeta”, mas também para as violações de direitos humanos cada vez mais graves nesta região.

Temos sido testemunhas de uma escalada de violência nos territórios indígenas e não podemos ficar indiferentes às notícias do assassinato de líderes indígenas, ativistas de direitos humanos e ambientalistas.

Exemplo como o chefe Emyra Wajãpi, assassinado no final de junho, Dilma Ferreira da Silva, Claudionor Costa da Silva, aqui já evocados, e tantos outros devem servir de alarme para o que se está a passar.

Ameaças, intimidações e assédio são cada vez mais comuns e devem ter uma resposta determinada por parte da União Europeia.

Os anúncios, por parte de responsáveis políticos brasileiros, da abertura a uma crescente exploração do território amazónico pelos setores agrícola e mineiro têm estimulado os conflitos e o desrespeito pelos direitos e pelas liberdades básicas dos povos indígenas.

A União Europeia não deve - não pode - ignorar as suas obrigações como líder global e deve utilizar os instrumentos ao seu alcance no diálogo com os governos para defesa da floresta, do ambiente, o combate às alterações climáticas e a proteção dos direitos humanos.

 
  
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  Karin Karlsbro (Renew). – Fru talman! Amazonas brinner. Det är en akut kris och en angelägenhet för hela världen. Brasiliens president, Bolsonaro, har visat att han inte självmant kommer att ta klimatutmaningen och avskogningen av Amazonas på allvar. Tvärtom har han tidigare sagt att han vill dra sig ur Parisavtalet i sällskap med Donald Trump men protester från omvärlden, däribland EU, har gjort intryck.

Vill vi verkligen ta ansvar för klimatet? Vill vi samverka för att Parisavtalet ska följas? Vill vi rädda Amazonas måste vi helt enkelt använda de bästa verktygen vi har. Handelsavtalet mellan EU och Mercosur är viktigt både för oss och för Brasilien ekonomiskt. Men det ger oss också en alldeles unik möjlighet att både sätta press på och skapa incitament för Brasiliens regering att ta klimatansvar. Moderna handelsavtal med tydliga krav på hållbarhet är ett av de allra bästa och mest effektiva verktyg vi har. Låt oss använda dem.

 
  
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  Francisco Guerreiro (Verts/ALE). – Senhora Presidente, Senhora Ministra, Senhor Comissário, os dados e os factos são claros. A União Europeia é a grande responsável pela destruição da selva amazónica. Somos o maior importador de produtos agrícolas provenientes de zonas desmatadas e o segundo maior importador de soja brasileira usada em rações para gado na Europa.

Não há como negar que o que comemos está a devastar a Amazónia e as suas comunidades indígenas. Mas outro rumo é possível se a União tiver a coragem necessária para colocar o pé no travão. Por isso, questiono, Senhora Ministra, Senhor Comissário, estão prontos para congelar o acordo com o Mercosul e travar a importação de carne e de soja da América Latina?

Sabemos que é uma decisão difícil, mas é necessária para travar o lóbi da agropecuária e para, finalmente e definitivamente, priorizarmos a proteção da biodiversidade da Amazónia e das comunidades indígenas.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, the production of beef is without question the biggest cause of deforestation in the Amazon, so it stands to reason that the quickest way to end deforestation in the Amazon will be to reduce demand for Brazilian beef. But now the EU wants to flood the European market with more South American beef every year through the Mercosur deal. You couldn’t make it up.

Nineteen per cent of all soy consumed in the EU comes from Brazil. Yes, there are restrictions on soy production expansion in the Amazon, but this has only served to increase pressure from cattle farming. Pasture land in the savannah has been replaced with soya bean plantations, and because of this, these beef farmers have moved to the Amazon.

It is estimated that nearly a quarter of total annual Amazon deforestation in recent years has been caused by these displaced beef farmers, so how in the name of God did the Commission come to the conclusion in March in its sustainability criteria for biofuels that soya bean production should not be designated a high risk factor for indirect land use change? It’s just madness.

 
  
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  Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, par nos échanges commerciaux nous portons une responsabilité dans ces incendies en Amazonie, parce que nous importons des produits issus de la déforestation et de la dégradation des forêts – viande bovine et soja, notamment.

L’Union européenne doit non seulement porter un discours fort, mais également imposer une gestion durable de la forêt par des clauses contraignantes en respect des accords de Paris sur le climat. Car, faut-il le rappeler, aucune sanction n’est aujourd’hui prévue en cas de non-respect. À l’heure des négociations avec le Mercosur, cette question est absolument cruciale.

Nous devons également mettre en place cette barrière écologique que nous avons défendue durant la campagne européenne et sur laquelle s’est engagée la présidente von der Leyen, ce dont nous nous félicitons.

Mais comment alors promouvoir cette barrière, tout en avançant sur de telles négociations? Nous devons protéger nos consommateurs, soutenir nos industries, nos agriculteurs, protéger l’environnement face aux producteurs étrangers pollueurs. Or, aujourd’hui, les accords négociés avec le Mercosur ne répondent pas à ces exigences. Cela nous responsabilise de fait sur la situation en Amazonie.

 
  
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  Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D). – Voorzitter, beste commissaris, ik ben blij u nog eens te zien bij dit belangrijke debat. Ik merk heel sterk dat over de partijgrenzen heen in dit Europees Parlement de verontwaardiging unaniem is over wat er gebeurt in het Amazonegebied. Ik ga er dan ook van uit dat er unanimiteit gezocht en gevonden kan worden dat de Europese Unie haar tanden moeten laten zien om dat probleem ook op te lossen. Er zijn verschillende manieren, maar één cruciale manier om hiermee om te gaan, is ons handelsbeleid drastisch te herzien, handelsbeleid dat de sustainable development goals ook echt meeneemt en ervoor zorgt dat de ontbossing wordt gestopt. Er zijn twee heel belangrijke manieren: je hebt de sustainability chapters, de TSD-chapters die echt afdwingbaar moeten worden en bindend moeten worden. Maar wij als Parlement kunnen ook laten zien dat we tanden hebben, bijvoorbeeld door voorafgaand aan de discussie te zeggen: de ontbossing moet stoppen en de manier waarop de mensenrechten worden behandeld in Brazilië moet stoppen. Dat moet de basis zijn van een toekomstig handelsbeleid. Laat ons daar de komende jaren onze tanden inzetten.

 
  
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  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (Renew). – Señora presidenta, la ola de incendios que se ha cebado este año con el bosque amazónico y sus comunidades indígenas nos afecta a todos por sus repercusiones humanas, ambientales y climáticas. Además, es una aberración económica, porque parece confirmarse que es fruto de un plan para fomentar un desarrollo insostenible.

Quiero poner en valor, por ello, el Pacto de Leticia por la Amazonia, suscrito el pasado seis de septiembre por Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Perú y Surinam, en el que se ratifica el compromiso de estos países con el sistema de tratados internacionales para proteger el medio ambiente y muy especialmente el Acuerdo de París. Un movimiento que debemos estimular comprobando que las políticas de prevención, extinción y reforestación son efectivas, apoyándolas solo contra resultados e impidiendo que productos agrícolas y ganaderos cuya producción haya dañado la Amazonia, tengan salida en ningún mercado y particularmente en la Unión.

Credibilidad, en este caso, significa primar los valores frente a los intereses.

 
  
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  Grace O’Sullivan (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, we all watched in horror this summer as the catastrophic fires raged through the Amazon, under the path of neglect and even perhaps the active encouragement of the Bolsonaro regime. None of us are blameless in this matter. Global demand for unsustainability, cheap and destructive beef production has driven the land clearance that is at the heart of the massive destruction. I endorse the resolution that has been put forward in response to this situation and I am happy that it is not shrinking from the issue of trade and the policies and politics that have led to the increase in deforestation recently. Trade deals with governments that violate the rule of law, that punish NGOs while encouraging illegal activities and that breach international agreements cannot be allowed to pass this House. There are arguments circulating with false narratives for the need for development clashing with the need to protect crucial ecosystems like the Amazon. These need to be rejected for the distraction that they are. We all know there are no jobs on a dead planet, but there are also few jobs on massive plantations, many under foreign ownership, designed to produce maximum short—term profit at the cost of the long—term health and well—being for the people of Brazil. I hope the Chamber will reject them and endorse the resolution in front of us.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, caros Colegas, o combate às alterações climáticas tem de ser assumido à escala global, o que implica uma ação coordenada.

A floresta é um elemento essencial para esse combate. A sustentabilidade deve ser a palavra-chave, que também significa solidariedade. No que diz respeito à floresta da Amazónia, não nos podemos esquecer de que a sua dimensão são 5 milhões de km2, 9 países, não é só o Brasil, e, se falarmos de incêndios, também, infelizmente, aqui na União Europeia os temos e deveríamos ser um exemplo para o resto do mundo. Incêndios que até têm levado, como no caso meu país em 2017, infelizmente à perda de mais de 100 pessoas em termos de vida humana.

A União Europeia, para além de exemplo, tem de procurar a prevenção - e é essa a chave - e deve colaborar, deve cooperar, financiando programas, financiando fundos para que, na Amazónia e em outras florestas, haja respeito pelos direitos humanos, pela sustentabilidade, que é uma causa que a todos nos diz respeito.

 
  
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  César Luena (S&D). – Señora presidenta, señorías, estamos ante un debate en realidad sobre el expolio de los bosques, de las selvas, de la biodiversidad. Y lo ha dicho la señora ministra del Consejo: liderazgo de la Unión Europea.

No nos resignemos. Se pueden conciliar los intereses privados, los intereses de la industria y de la agricultura con la conservación del medio ambiente. Es el desarrollo sostenible.

Ahora bien, usted pedía ideas. Yo le doy una. Siga la estrategia forestal de la Comisión Europea, que dice que hay algunos productos que vienen derivados de este auténtico expolio forestal que no tendríamos que importar, que hay que restringir.

Señorías, estamos librando una batalla. Este Parlamento está librando una batalla esta tarde contra auténticos depredadores negacionistas. Pero la batalla la podemos ganar con el liderazgo de la Unión Europea. Sin resignarnos y con coherencia.

 
  
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  Elsi Katainen (Renew). – Arvoisa puhemies, metsäpalot ovat muistuttaneet myös Mercosur-sopimukseen sisältyvistä kestävän kehityksen luvun ja sopimuksessa myöskin mukana olevan Pariisin ilmastosopimuksen tärkeydestä. Meidän on todella pidettävä huolta siitä, että Mercosur-sopimuksen toimeenpanossa noudatetaan kestävän kehityksen periaatteita ja niitä sovittuja standardeja.

Meidän on luotava edellytykset kaikkia osapuolia tyydyttävään kaupankäyntiin. EU voi näyttää myös Brasilialle esimerkkiä. Tuore komission metsäkatoa käsittelevä tiedonanto näyttää, että meillä EU:ssa metsävarat vain kasvavat. Se on kestävän metsänhoidon ja monipuolisen puun käytön ansiota. Voimme olla todella ylpeitä siitä, että jäsenmaamme hoitavat metsänsä pääosin hyvin ja kestävästi.

Metsäasioiden käsittely täällä parlamentissa on kuitenkin hyvin hajallaan ja kaipaisi lisää koordinointia. Siksi muun muassa metsästrategian päivittäminen on ajankohtaisempaa ja tärkeämpää kuin koskaan aikaisemmin.

 
  
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  Pär Holmgren (Verts/ALE). – Fru talman! Förra veckan hade jag möjligheten att träffat två representanter för Huni Kuin-stammen i Amazonas som hade få se sin by brinna ner. Deras kamp mot bränderna måste vara vår gemensamma kamp. Amazonas brinner fortfarande. Samtidigt hotar president Bolsonaro med att lämna Parisavtalet och fortsätta och till och med utöka skövlingen.

Den här skövlingen av Amazonas måste stoppas nu! Det är en av de absolut mest känsliga delarna av hela klimatsystemet på vår planet. EU ska inte prioritera ökad import av soja och kött när det drabbar ursprungsbefolkningar och regnskog. I förhandlingarna om ett nytt stort handelsavtal måste vi därför ställa tydliga tuffa krav på Mercosurländerna.

Det jag skulle vilja veta från kommissionen är hur de kan få dessa länder att från med nu välja mellan att agera för att skydda regnskogen eller att gå miste om europeisk handel?

 
  
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  Alexander Bernhuber (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Seit Jahresbeginn wurden in den Amazonasgebieten schon 6 000 Quadratkilometer Wald niedergebrannt. Das entspricht einer Fläche von circa 8 % meines Heimatlandes, Österreich. Wie Sie, Herr Kommissar, auch erwähnt haben, werden bereits heute 80 % dieser Regenwaldabholzungsflächen für die Ausdehnung der landwirtschaftlichen Produktion genutzt. Dabei entstehen riesige Farmen, die mit unseren europäischen landwirtschaftlichen Betrieben nicht vergleichbar sind.

Die Verbindung zum Mercosur ist offensichtlich, und es ist beschämend, wenn Europa zusieht, wie das System der Regenwaldabholzung hier unterstützt wird. Man kann doch nicht erwarten, dass wir die Klimaziele in Europa einhalten und gleichzeitig Fleisch aus Mercosur-Staaten importieren, obwohl wir europäische Landwirte eigentlich genug regionale Produkte in ausreichender Qualität und Menge produzieren.

Sollten diese Zustände der Brandrodung so weitergehen, die brasilianische Regierung weiter so zusehen, fordere ich starke Konsequenzen und Importverbote von Rindfleisch aus Mercosur-Ländern, so wie es die finnische Ratspräsidentschaft bereits vorgeschlagen hat.

 
  
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  Patrizia Toia (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'Amazzonia brucia e, se brucia la terra che produce il 20 % dell'ossigeno che respiriamo, brucia anche un patrimonio immenso di culture, popoli e biodiversità.

La deforestazione, così come gli incendi, sono certo causati da uomini, da leader che avallano lo sfruttamento delle risorse e delle persone, uno sfruttamento basato su un'idea vecchia e sbagliata di capitalismo, senza sostenibilità che promuova il benessere di tutti.

C'è una frase, un'espressione in lingua indigena che non so ripetere, che parla proprio del "buon vivere". Ecco, buon vivere, cioè un rapporto armonioso tra uomo e creato, e questo buon vivere noi dovremmo farlo nostro, anche nelle politiche da ripensare dell'Unione.

E io mi chiedo, perché non dobbiamo avere il coraggio di rivedere anche l'accordo del Mercosur per metterci criteri più stringenti di sostenibilità ambientale? E perché non abbiamo il coraggio di dire che non si può fare gli ambientalisti, come dice qualcuno, con le foreste degli altri, di paesi che vogliono avere una via di sviluppo?

È un problema anche nostro e penso che l'Europa dovrebbe contribuire a un piano per la riforestazione.

 
  
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  Tilly Metz (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, entre 1990 et 2016, nous avons perdu 1,3 millions de kilomètres carrés de forêt. Cela correspond environ à 800 terrains de football par heure. Ce désastre est dû à la demande mondiale de denrées alimentaires et d’aliments pour animaux. Nous importons du soja génétiquement manipulé en encourageant l’utilisation massive de pesticides pour nourrir nos animaux.

Que fait la Commission européenne? D’une part, elle propose une stratégie de protection des forêts, voire de reforestation, mais, d’autre part, la PAC encourage l’agriculture intensive et l’importation massive d’aliments pour animaux. La Commission nous propose également un traité de libre-échange, le Mercosur, qui aggravera la situation. L’Amazonie a brûlé pendant des semaines, sur une telle étendue qu’on a pu le voir de l’espace.

Nous avons aussi notre part de responsabilité. Soyons cohérents, faisons barrage aux produits issus de la déforestation et arrêtons d’encourager le président Bolsonaro à sacrifier la forêt amazonienne et ses habitants au secteur agro-industriel.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: RAINER WIELAND
Vizepräsident

 
  
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  Μαρία Σπυράκη (PPE). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, όλοι εδώ σε αυτή την αίθουσα ζητούμε επειγόντως μέτρα για τη βιώσιμη διαχείριση του Αμαζονίου διότι, αν η καταστροφή ξεπεράσει το 30%, η κατάσταση δεν θα είναι αναστρέψιμη. Η κυβέρνηση Bolsonaro, αντί να συνεχίσει το σχέδιο για τη βιώσιμη διαχείριση, που υπάρχει από το 2014, ενθάρρυνε την υπερεκμετάλλευση της γης και κλείνει τα μάτια μπροστά στην καταστροφή.

Σε αυτό το πλαίσιο η συμφωνία μεταξύ της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και της Mercosur μπορεί να αποτελέσει ένα ισχυρό εργαλείο για την προστασία των δασών του Αμαζονίου. Είναι μία συμφωνία δίκαιου εμπορίου, είναι μία συμφωνία συνδεδεμένη με τη Συμφωνία του Παρισιού και στην πραγματικότητα νουθετεί τη Βραζιλία να αναδασώσει δώδεκα εκατομμύρια εκτάρια.

Πυρκαγιές, δυστυχώς, στον Αμαζόνιο είχαμε πολλά χρόνια τώρα. Όμως, τώρα, τουλάχιστον έχουμε ένα μέσο πίεσης. Και όποιος παραβιάζει τη Συμφωνία του Παρισιού πρέπει να παραβιάζει και τη συμφωνία Mercosur. Μέτρα πίεσης δεν έχουμε, όμως, ούτε για τη Σιβηρία ούτε για την Αφρική ούτε για την Ινδονησία. Χρειαζόμαστε μια συνολική πρόταση βιώσιμης διαχείρισης των δασών και εργαλεία για να την προωθήσουμε εκτός Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Αντί να εξαντλούν οι συνάδελφοι της Ομάδας GUE την ευαισθησία τους ... (Ο Πρόεδρος αφαιρεί τον λόγο από την ομιλήτρια.)

 
  
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  Roberta Metsola (PPE). – Mr President, for the past few weeks, the world has watched in horror as massive fires engulf large sections of the Amazon, Siberia, Alaska, Greece – the list goes on. Against the backdrop of unprecedented climate change and deforestation at levels we have not seen before, the earth’s lungs are quickly filling with smoke. We have now moved from a climate emergency to a climate catastrophe, and the world deserves a better response than schoolyard political sniping games on Twitter. The entire system is flawed. Our habits and our throwaway society, coupled with populist political short—termism, will have tragic consequences on the lives and the health of our children and their children. When all the evidence shows us that the way we are consuming our natural resources on our planet is unsustainable, we have to have the courage to take the tough decisions we need. We did it with plastic. We managed to push through a ban of some of the worst products, but it is time to go further, and Europe can be the global leader in this. When Greta Thunberg, as the voice of her generation, asked politicians to panic, she was right and now it is up to us whether we panic by running into a wall or taking drastic action. That’s the choice we face.

 
  
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  Agnès Evren (PPE). – Monsieur le Président, la situation en Amazonie est catastrophique, mais le fléau de la déforestation est mondial, il ne concerne pas seulement l’Amazonie. Depuis juillet, par exemple, l’Indonésie brûle aussi dans un silence insoutenable.

Ce n’est pas seulement à coup d’accords commerciaux que nous lutterons contre cette déforestation massive et encore moins s’ils ne comportent aucune mesure contraignante, comme avec le Mercosur. Élargissons le débat. Il faut des années pour conclure un accord commercial et le mettre en vigueur. Or, il nous faut agir très vite. L’aide au développement est un levier plus efficace à court terme. Elle pourrait être mieux utilisée, notamment comme moyen de pression sur les États qui ferment les yeux sur la déforestation.

Je voudrais enfin penser aux agriculteurs qui n’ont souvent guère le choix que d’étendre leurs cultures sur la forêt. Aidons-les à changer les comportements, en s’assurant que les pratiques vertueuses leur fournissent une rémunération décente.

 
  
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  Jörgen Warborn (PPE). – Herr talman! Förra sommaren led vi av stora skogsbränder i Sverige och stödet från medlemsländerna visade sig ovärderligt för oss. Våra polska vänner skickade oss 139 brandmän till undsättning. Precis som skogsbränder världen över så var det ett enormt problem för människor, för djur och för naturen. Därför känner jag med det brasilianska folket. Men jag noterar också att det drevs ingen kampanj eller debatt i världen om att sluta handla med Sverige, bara för att det brann i våra skogar. Därför är det fel att som vänsterkanten nu gör, använda den här tragiska katastrofen för att stoppa frihandelsavtalet mellan EU och Mercosur.

Så låt mig tala klarspråk. En blockering av frihandelsavtalet kommer inte att släcka några bränder i Amazonas eller förbättra klimatet. Tvärtom binder Mercosuravtalet Brasilien och de andra länderna att respektera och implementera Parisavtalet och arbeta för ett hållbart skogsbruk. Vi ska använda handeln som en morot. Då skapar vi hållbar utveckling och välstånd genom flera arbeten, genom högre tillväxt som gör både varor och tjänster billigare. Därför uppmanar jag alla medlemsstaternas regeringar och kollegorna här i huset att bidra till en så snabb ratificering som möjligt.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Für das nun folgende Verfahren der spontanen Wortmeldungen haben wir, wie Frau Vizepräsidentin Hautala bereits sagte, fast dreimal so viele Wortmeldungen wie vorgesehen. Wir werden sieben Wortmeldungen berücksichtigen.

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Alex Agius Saliba (S&D). – Mr President, I will start with some simple facts: the Amazon forest produces 20% of the world’s oxygen in our atmosphere. More than a million indigenous lives are currently in danger. Deforestation fires have burned the Amazon for decades; fires have increased by 85% under the current Bolsonaro Government. The Amazon is not the only region being destroyed. There are no ordinary fires; the destruction of the Amazon will rapidly accelerate global warming, increase the overall temperature of the planet, and destroy biodiversity and indigenous life within the forest. What are we doing while the Amazon forest burns to the ground? Are we just going to sit and watch in horror while our planet burns? No. We need to act, and the need to act was yesterday.

I want to ask the Commission: what is the strategy here? What is EU doing to protect and tackle forest fires worldwide? What actions and financial support can be offered to stop and control these fires?

 
  
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  Pablo Arias Echeverría (PPE). – Señor presidente, el acuerdo Unión Europea-Mercosur es, sin duda, el mejor instrumento que existe para la protección de los bosques del Amazonas. Si la Unión Europea aspira de verdad a liderar los esfuerzos a nivel mundial para la lucha contra el cambio climático, debe sin duda aprobar el acuerdo Unión Europea-Mercosur. La protección de la selva amazónica nos corresponde a todos, así como otras zonas boscosas en África, América, Asia y Oceanía, pues contribuye a varios de los objetivos de desarrollo sostenible fijados por las Naciones Unidas.

Quiero poner en valor el pacto alcanzado en la ciudad de Leticia, en Colombia, por siete países latinoamericanos, entre los que destacan Colombia, Perú, Ecuador, Bolivia y Brasil, para la protección del Amazonas. Sin embargo, he de decir que la postura del presidente Macron, manifestada durante la última cumbre del G—7, no es apropiada, por deberse a cuestiones de política interna que ponen en riesgo muchas cosas que se han conseguido tras veinte años de dura negociación.

El acuerdo Unión Europea-Mercosur es una oportunidad para todos los implicados, no solo en materia comercial, sino, sobre todo, en materia medioambiental para cumplir ...

(El presidente retira la palabra al orador).

 
  
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  Irena Joveva (Renew). – Gospod predsednik, že nekaj časa poslušam o tem, kako Evropska unija mora biti zgled pri soočanju s podnebnimi spremembami in kako pravzaprav že igra vodilno vlogo pri tem.

Vse lepo in prav, to drži, drži tudi, da smo na pravi poti, ampak Evropska unija se s tem, kar želi doseči, ne more soočati sama. Skrb za okolje je svetovni problem in tukaj morajo biti zraven vsi.

Zato je po mojem mnenju glede Amazonije ključna ne samo razprava, ampak so ključna dejanja. Brazilija dopušča uničevanje pragozda in dokler bo tako, si ne znam predstavljati, da bi države članice Unije ratificirale trgovinski sporazum z Mercosurjem.

Ne zagovarjam sankcij – razen v skrajnem primeru. Ampak a to ni skrajni primer? A naj mirno gledamo, kako gorijo pljuča sveta. Jasno sporočilo Unije mora biti, da nam je mar, v kakšnem svetu živimo. In to ne sme biti samo floskula. Podnebje in narava se spreminjata in skrajni čas je, da se spremenimo tudi ljudje. Če nam tu ne uspe, je konec.

 
  
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  Ellie Chowns (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, occasionally, an issue comes to public attention because it crystallises a big and complex issue in a way that hits home for all of us that we can all understand, and the fires in the Amazon are one such example. Yes, they’re not the only fires, yes, we need to plant more trees here in Europe, but concentrating on the fires in the Amazon brings home some really important issues for us all. People in Europe are passionate about the fate of the Amazon because we care about the climate crisis. We care about biodiversity and about the lives of indigenous people under threat. None of us is an island; we’re interconnected. Our choices here in Europe –consumption, trade policy – have an influence elsewhere in the world. Like many others, I’m fearful of the effects of the EU—Mercosur trade deal. I worry that narrow economic interests will trump concern for human rights and environmental protection. I’m not at all reassured by claims that the EU will somehow have more leverage than before over human rights and environmental protection after we sign the Mercosur trade deal. You only have to look at our record on this. It’s taken eight years to begin enforcement on the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement. As it stands, the Mercosur deal is all carrot ...

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Kateřina Konečná (GUE/NGL). – Pane předsedající, není možné hrát si na neviňátka. O tématu odlesňování se zde bavíme od roku 2017, kdy jsem tady prezentovala svou zprávu k danému tématu a tento Parlament ji přijal. Že prezident Bolsonaro znamená zkázu deštných pralesů, víme přes rok. Rovněž víme, že Evropská unie je zejména díky své zahraniční obchodní politice součástí problému odlesňování. Předstírání šoku proto opravdu není na místě. Na místě je se ptát, proč jsme tolik let čekali na akční plán Komise proti odlesňování a proč není k dnešní debatě rezoluce. Trapně tady předstíráme, že nás to zajímá, ale to je tak vše. Musíme se jasně postavit faktům – jsme svědky ničení lesů a pralesů, bez kterých není života. A tohle není Notre-Dame, tady mohou nenaplněné sliby znamenat zkázu. Skončeme s tlachy, skončeme s odlesňováním, skončeme s ničivými požáry. A buďme součástí řešení.

 
  
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  Carmen Avram (S&D). – Mr President, we are here today, united from the left to the right, to condemn the dramatic fires happening as we speak in the Amazon rainforest. But why not stop crying and act – because today the European Union can do something concrete. We have trade tools to apply pressure and we should use them. The EU has just signed the Mercosur deal and insists that the deal does not lower environmental standards and that the precautionary principle ensures that the EU and the Mercosur countries can continue to protect the environment. Well, now we can see how Bolsonaro keeps his part of the deal. The EU says it is legally committed to respecting the environment and biodiversity. So, will it suspend this trade deal at least until the fires have stopped and the investigations into the causes of the fire are concluded? If the burning of the largest rainforest in the world is not serious enough, what does it take for the EU to suspend this trade deal and respect the sustainable chapter of it?

 
  
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  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – Mr President, just to say at the outset that I welcome the opportunity, and I don’t think that this debate should be distilled down to an ideological debate about left or right. Let’s be honest, Bolsonaro is right-wing and is burning forestry, and Morales is left-wing and is equally burning forestry. We need to talk about it in ethical terms: how we trade, and how we interrelate on the planet itself. And there is no point in saying it: it is profitable at the moment to burn the forests in Amazonia, it’s profitable to burn the rainforests across the globe, because we are trying to satisfy the commodity markets. Until such time as we accept this in Europe, and while we continue to import soy beans and coffees and beef from these parts of the world, they will continue to burn the rainforests.

Let’s be very clear: if the Mercosur agreement is ratified, it is Europe that will tear up the Paris Agreement, not the others. We have ethical, moral obligations to insist that any trade deals comply with the vigours and rigours of the Paris Agreement, and we should insist on that at the very minimum before we sign any Mercosur trade agreement.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Karmenu Vella, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I think we all agree that rain forests are a vital resource for the planet. This debate has reiterated that the ongoing fires in the Amazon basin are deeply worrying to all of us, all the more so against the backdrop of devastating fires raging in other parts of the world. Many have said – and I totally agree – that we have to tackle and we have to be concerned about all forest fires everywhere, whether it’s in Angola, Siberia, the Arctic, the subarctic region, central Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia or South America. All these fires once more underline the sense of urgency required in joining our forces to fight climate change. Forests are indispensable and are vital to our efforts to fight climate change. Protecting forests is a significant part of our and everybody’s responsibility to meet the commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Most of the speakers spoke about the EU—Mercosur trade agreement. In the trade and sustainable development chapter of the EU—Mercosur trade agreement, both the EU and the Mercosur countries, including Brazil, accepted an explicit commitment to effectively implement the Paris Agreement. Brazil’s nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement includes commitments on deforestation and reforestation. These are reinforced by private—sector initiatives, such as the Soy Moratorium or commitments by Brazilian meatpackers not to source meat from farms in recently deforested areas. In addition to provisions to promote sustainable trade and the trade agreement itself, let me note that the trade deal is part of an overall association agreement covering dialogue on human rights and cooperation in many fields, including the environment and climate change. It will provide the EU and, indeed, the European Parliament with additional instruments for dialogue and cooperation and help bring our markets and citizens closer together.

Many are concerned that we have to make certain that the commitments are there and that the commitments are honoured. The EU—Mercosur Agreement includes a comprehensive trade and sustainable development chapter containing legally binding commitments on environmental protection, as well as climate change, including a commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The Commission has a range of tools and mechanisms available to ensure that these commitments are respected. Where a party fails to comply with a commitment, we can resort to the dispute settlement mechanism, tailored to the specifics of labour and environment.

We trust and expect, but above all, we will ensure that Brazil will live up to its own commitments in the framework of the Paris Agreement, which includes a pledge by Brazil to reduce by 2025 its net greenhouse gas emissions by 37% compared to 2005 levels, and an action plan to stop illegal deforestation, including in the Brazilian Amazon. On our part, we also committed a pledge by the EU to reduce our domestic emissions by at least 40% by 2030.

Some MEPs commented that we should also tackle the demand side regarding the marketing of products associated with deforestation. A legislative framework preventing products associated with deforestation to reach the EU market is key. It is essential. The EU already has domestic regulations banning, for example, the sale of illegally harvested timber. The main objective of the regulation is to reduce illegal deforestation and give consumers better assurances about the products that they buy. When it comes to any future EU domestic measures relating to products associated with deforestation, let me refer to our recent communication on deforestation where we have announced a number of other measures in this regard. Those measures include reinforcing standards and certification schemes to identify and to promote deforestation-free commodities, exploring possible additional demand—side regulatory and non-regulatory measures to increase supply—chain transparency and to minimise the risk of importing products associated with deforestation and forest degradation, also, promoting forest-relevant considerations and activities to foster corporate social responsibility and responsible business conduct and, finally, establishing a stakeholder platform on deforestation allowing for discussions between government officials, NGO businesses, retailers, and so on.

To conclude, let me remind everyone that the final legal texts of the Association Agreement and its trade aspect will be submitted to the EU Member States and to the European Parliament for approval.

 
  
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  Tytti Tuppurainen, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, to conclude I wish to thank you for this very useful debate on a pressing issue that concerns us all. We all share the view that we need to do our utmost to protect our forests. We need to improve the EU’s action on this matter and continue working towards honouring our international commitments.

Many of you referred to the Mercosur Trade Agreement. The trade agreement with Mercosur contains a robust trade and sustainable development chapter which lives up to the highest standards comparable to those in other modern agreements. The basic premise is that increased trade should not come at the expense of the environment or labour conditions; on the contrary, it should promote sustainable development.

The Mercosur Agreement contains a specific article on climate change committing the parties to effectively implement the Paris Agreement. There are also commitments on fighting deforestation. However, just like here in Parliament, discussions in the Council on the EU-Mercosur Agreement are still in an early phase. It is clear that sufficient time will be needed for a comprehensive examination of the negotiated agreement. It will be important for both of our institutions to have an honest debate on the agreement, based on facts.

I would also like to note that open, ambitious and rules-based trade policy which is value-based, sustainable and inclusive is a priority for the Finnish Presidency. Many of you also referred to the urgency of climate action. The time to act on climate change is now, not later. We believe that the EU can have an effect on others by setting an example. This is why it is crucial to agree on an ambitious target of climate neutrality in the European Union by 2050 as soon as possible.

We must preserve the Amazon rainforest for the generations to come. Huge damage has been done so far, which I deplore, but we need to focus on preventing further deterioration. We need to protect our forests in the Amazon and elsewhere because we need to protect our lives. Deforestation is a global challenge with many complicated aspects. For that reason cooperation within the Council configuration is an elementary part of successful work. The cooperation between the EU institutions is even more important and for that reason, we are all here today. Thank you very much once again for your active participation and for your attention.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171 GO)

 
  
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  Andrus Ansip (Renew), kirjalikult. – Valitsused, kes soosivad vihmametsade massilist maharaiumist ja põletamist, peavad arvestama ka tagajärgedega. Nende riikidega vabakaubandust toetav avalik arvamus võib muutuda. Amazonase vihmametsade saatus ei mõjuta mitte ainult Brasiiliat, vaid kogu maailma. Seetõttu ma toetan probleemile tähelepanu juhtimist ja surve avaldamist Brasiilia võimudele.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – Expressamos aqui toda a nossa solidariedade com o povo brasileiro e com os povos dos demais países afectados pelos grandes incêndios da Amazónia, em particular com as populações que habitam a Floresta Amazónica. Estes incêndios são um exemplo dramático do que pode suceder quando, como sucede na sociedade capitalista, o objectivo do lucro se sobrepõe a elementares preocupações ambientais e sociais. A destruição da Amazónia não começou agora. Há muito que as multinacionais e outros grupos económicos disputam os recursos da Amazónia. Esta disputa encontra expressão nos planos económico, político e geoestratégico, e passa pela apropriação da terra, das matérias-primas, dos recursos extraídos da Natureza. Tais objectivos de apropriação e depredação de recursos encontram no Governo brasileiro, dirigido por Bolsonaro, programas ultraliberais que dão rédea solta e potenciam a sanha do grande capital e dos grupos económicos do agro-negócio, que visam abocanhar as grandes riquezas naturais da Amazónia. A situação que se vive na Amazónia justifica a cooperação e ajuda internacionais, para melhor e mais prontamente lidar com a catástrofe. Mas tal não legitima quem tem pretensões de favorecer planos e processos de domínio económico e, bem assim, formas de transferência de custos para os povos do mundo da degradação ambiental, apagando as responsabilidades do modo de produção capitalista.

 
  
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  Γιώργος ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΥ (GUE/NGL), γραπτώς. – Οι «πνεύμονες» του πλανήτη μας καίγονται και η κλιματική αλλαγή εξελίσσεται ραγδαία σε κλιματική κρίση, οδηγώντας μας σε ένα οικολογικό εφιάλτη. Ο Αμαζόνιος φλέγεται λόγω οικονομικών συμφερόντων. Με τη σφραγίδα των πολιτικών του Bolsonaro, ο Αμαζόνιος θυσιάζεται στον βωμό του κέρδους, προκειμένου να εξυπηρετηθούν τα συμφέροντα μεγάλων ντόπιων και ξένων βιομηχανιών. Οι 40.000 πυρκαγιές που προκλήθηκαν φέτος στον Αμαζόνιο δεν ήταν ατύχημα. Ήταν το αποτέλεσμα εγκληματικών πολιτικών.

Απαιτούμε τα αυτονόητα. Ζητούμε να αναλάβει η ΕΕ άμεσα πρωτοβουλίες, ώστε να σταλεί βοήθεια για τη διάσωση του Αμαζονίου. Να ληφθούν άμεσα μέτρα στην ΕΕ για την πρόληψη και αποτροπή της παράνομης υλοτομίας, της αυθαίρετης αποψίλωσης αλλά και της καταστροφής και πυρπόλησης των δασών. Ας αφήσουμε τις βαρύγδουπες δηλώσεις. Δεν ωφελούν. Χρειαζόμαστε δραστικά μέτρα. Καλούμε λοιπόν την ΕΕ να εξαγγείλει άμεσα τη διάθεση συγκεκριμένου κονδυλίου για αναδάσωση σε όλα τα κράτη μέλη ως ζήτημα έκτακτης ανάγκης. Γιατί ο πλανήτης, το σπίτι μας, καίγεται, και δεν έχουμε την πολυτέλεια να αποτύχουμε!

 
  
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  Urmas Paet (Renew), kirjalikult. – Amazonase vihmametsad on hävimas enneolematus ulatuses, põlenguid on lausa 76% rohkem kui eelmisel aastal. Rekordilised põlengud, mis üha enam süüdatud tahtlikult, jõgede reostamine ebaseaduslike kaevanduste toksiliste jäätmetega, põlismaalaste aladele tungimine maavarade hankimise nimel on hävitamas üht maailma suurimat troopilist metsa. On oluline jätkata ja suurendada tööd vihmametsade säilimise nimel, seista selle eest, et sealsed elanikud ja loomad oleksid kaitstud ning et loodusvarade kasutamine oleks mõistlik ning mitte röövellik. Tuleb teha tõsiseid samme Amazonase säilimise nimel ning ka praegu seal lõõmavate põlengute kustutamisel. Ka EL peab sellele kaasa aitama.

 
  
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  María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos (Renew), por escrito. – Estimado Comisario, Nos alarma el estado y la reciente propagación de fuegos en los dos pulmones principales de la Tierra. Por un lado, la Amazonia (el primer pulmón de la Tierra) ha sufrido una devastadora oleada de incendios jamás vistos. Estos focos han aumentado un 83% comparado con el mismo periodo en 2018. ¿El causante principal? La deforestación, que además se ha cobrado un fuerte impulso con el gobierno actual. Por otro lado, el segundo pulmón de la Tierra, los bosques de la Cuenca del Congo, que registraron un total de 10.000 focos de incendios en las mismas fechas. Señor Comisario, estos dos continentes en llamas son un santuario de biodiversidad y constituyen una herramienta esencial en la lucha contra el cambio climático. Si la pérdida de la cubierta de los árboles tropicales continua, será imposible mantener el calentamiento por debajo de los 2°C. Nos preocupa que gobiernos - como el de Brasil - hayan dado un vuelco a la política de gestión de bosques y deshagan todo el progreso que el país había visto en los últimos años. La irresponsabilidad política y la mala gestión de los bosques supone una gran amenaza para nuestros ecosistemas y para nuestra supervivencia. Gracias.

 
  
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  Sándor Rónai (S&D), írásban. – A világnak az elmúlt években egyre gyakrabban kell erdőtüzekkel küzdenie. Emlékezzünk Kaliforniára. Idén nyáron Szibéria és az Amazonas medencéje szenvedett súlyos károkat. Azonban nem kell az Unión kívülre mennünk, hogy hasonló tragédiát találjunk. Az utóbbi időben Görögországnak és Portugáliának kellett hatalmas erőfeszítésekkel megállítani a lángokat, idén nyáron pedig a Kanári-szigeteken kellett folytatni az ember feletti küzdelmeket. Szörnyű látni, hogy miközben fiatalok, hírességek, és hétköznapi emberek a világ minden tájáról harcolnak a klímaváltozás ellen, és a világ egyre elkötelezettebbé válik a klímakatasztrófa megállításában, még mindig vannak, akik félrenéznek és legyintenek arra, hogy óránként 800 futballpályányi esőerdő pusztul el az Amazonas területén. Kiábrándító, hogy amikor a globális felmelegedés elleni küzdelemhez kellene hozzájárulni, akkor vannak kormányok, amelyek önző politikai céljaikat előbbre valónak tartják gyermekeink és unokáink életéténél. Politikai érdekeik annyira elvakítják őket, hogy nem veszik észre, hogy mindnyájunk sírját ássák. Ez történt akkor, amikor néhány közép-keleti európai vezető nem volt hajlandó vállalni a 2050-es karbonsemlegességi célokat, vagy amikor felháborító és cinikus módon a kormánypártok nem vettek részt a nemzeti parlament klímaváltozásról szóló vitáján. Az a politikus, aki legyint a klímaváltozásra, az halálos ítéletet mond. Minden erőnkkel azon kell lennünk, hogy megtaláljuk azokat az eszközöket, amelyekkel akár nélkülük is tudunk küzdeni a klímaváltozás ellen.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE), písemně. – Na tom po zasedání právem debatujeme o situaci v Amazonii. To je oblast, která se označuje za plíce světa (produkuje 20 % světového kyslíku) a má klíčovou úlohu pro zvládání klimatické změny. Rozsáhlé požáry, ke kterým tam dochází, mají naopak potenciál pouštět do atmosféry velké množství skleníkových plynů. Ráda bych se této otázky dotknula z pohledu obchodní vztahů mezi Evropskou unií a zeměmi MERCOSURU, konkrétně Brazílie. Je jistě dobře, že navrhovaná dohoda mezi EU a MERCOSUREM obsahuje opatření o boji proti změně klimatu. Na druhou stranu jsme byli svědky toho, že brazilská vláda a prezident přistupovali ke katastrofě tohoto rozměru poměrně laxně. Znepokojivá je také skutečnost, že za vlády současného prezidenta Brazílie se – a to bez ohledu na požáry – odlesňování v Amazonii zvýšilo o 88 %. Návrh dohody s MERCOSUREM má za cíl rozvíjet společné obchodní vztahy. Je jasné, že brazilští producenti potřebují odbytiště. Na druhou stranu, naši zemědělci mají právem obavy z brazilské produkce, která je masivní a využívá nepřijatelné metody. Pokud by tato produkce měla být podporována za cenu ničení amazonského pralesa, tak to by bylo absolutně nepřijatelné. Na dohodu s MERCOSUREM se musíme dívat touto optikou a požadovat jasné záruky, že její naplňování nebude znamenat zkázu pro plíce světa a snížení konkurenceschopnosti našich zemědělců.

 
  
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  Monika Vana (Verts/ALE), schriftlich. – Auf Debatten müssen endlich Taten folgen! Wir Grüne bedauern sehr, dass das Europaparlament keine Resolution zu den Waldbränden im Amazonas verabschiedet hat. Dabei ist das Ausmaß der Umweltkatastrophe klar: Vor zwei Wochen mahnte uns Mapu Huni Kuin aus dem brasilianischen Bundesstaat Acre im Europaparlament: “Die Brände zerstören unsere Lebensgrundlage und unser Zuhause. Wir brauchen den Wald, er gibt uns Freiheit und unsere Identität.” Auf politischer Ebene braucht es klare Ansagen gegenüber Bolsonaro und eine multilaterale Lösung in Südamerika, um die Waldbrände dauerhaft zu stoppen!

 
  
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  Henna Virkkunen (PPE), kirjallinen. – Arvoisa puhemies Viikkoja jatkuneet Amazonin alueen valtavat metsäpalot ovat syystäkin nostaneet suurta kansainvälistä huolta. Erityisen vakavaa on, että palot eivät näytä syttyneen vahingossa, vaan niitä on osin tarkoituksellakin sytytetty maan raivaamiseksi. Metsät ovat meille monestakin syystä elintärkeitä. Sekä luonnon monimuotoisuuden, ilmastonsuojelun että taloudellisen ja sosiaalisen hyvinvoinnin näkökulmasta. Myös Brasilia on saatava kansainvälisten sopimusten kautta sitoutumaan tiukemmin arvokkaiden metsien suojeluun, kestävään metsänhoitoon ja luonnon monimuotoisuuden turvaamiseen. Tähän meillä saattaa olla jatkossa paremmin välineitä käytössä, jos kesällä alustavasti poliittiseen sopimukseen saatu Euroopan unionin ja Mercosur-alueen kauppasopimus kyetään toimeenpanemaan onnistuneesti. Mielestäni sopimusta ei siis pidä hylätä, vaikka Brasialian johdon toiminta on Amazonin palaessa näyttänyt suorastaan pöyristyttävän piittaamattomalta. On tärkeä huomata, että kaikkiin uusiin EU:n kauppasopimuksiin, myös Mercosur-sopimukseen, sisältyvät nyt luvut kestävästä kehityksestä. Se antaa meille selkänojaa vaatia kauppakumppaneiltamme kansainvälisten sopimusten ylläpitämistä, yhteistyötä ja dialogia muun muassa ympäristönsuojelun osalta. Kun Mercosur-sopimusta tulevana talvena käsitellään ja työstetään eteenpäin, on todella tärkeä varmistaa, että näitä sopimukseen kirjattuja tavoitteita seurataan kunnolla ja varmistetaan niiden toteutuminen myös käytännössä.

 
  
 

(Die Sitzung wird für einige Minuten unterbrochen.)

 
Last updated: 30 September 2019Legal notice