Letter by Minister Mikkonen to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs: foreign and trade policy must be harnessed to stop the Amazon wildfires

Press release 2019-08-28 at 11:53

According to Krista Mikkonen, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, the EU needs to take firm action to stop the fires raging in the Amazon rainforest. In a letter addressed to Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mikkonen commends the measures and positions taken so far, but insists that the EU must put pressure on Brazil to stop the fires.

“Stopping and preventing the Amazon fires is a major climate issue. If we can’t contain the spread of the fires and the deforestation, we may find ourselves in a situation in which the entire rainforest is lost. I now urge for the tools of foreign and trade policy to be harnessed effectively to help stop this disaster,” Mikkonen says.

The EU foreign ministers are set to discuss the EU’s measures to fight the fires in the Amazon rainforest at an informal meeting in Helsinki at the end of this week.

“Halting deforestation is also essential in order to safeguard biodiversity. The Amazon rainforest is home to 10% of the known species in the world. Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU wants to play an active role in this issue. We also intend to prepare Council conclusions on halting deforestation. Ensuring sustainability throughout all chains of production is essential.”

Inquiries

Riikka Yliluoma, Special Adviser to the Minister, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 50 414 1682, firstname.lastname@ym.fi