Sanders says he would ‘absolutely’ consider imposing sanctions on Brazil over Amazon rainforest fires


Presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he would “absolutely” consider imposing sanctions on Brazil over the raging wildfires in the Amazon rainforest if he became president.

“What is going on in Brazil is extremely dangerous,” Sanders told Hill.TV, noting that that the region serves as a vital oxygen source for the rest of the world.

“We would use all of the tools at our disposal … to try to make sure that we stop the burning of the Amazon, and in fact, that we work with the entire world to move forward to protect the planet,” he added.

The fires in the Amazon rainforest have sparked global outrage.

French President Emmanuel Macron called the fires an “international crises.”

“Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire,” Macron tweeted last week.

The issue was also a topic of concern among world leaders at the Group of Seven (G-7). During a climate meeting on Monday, several nations agreed to offer a $20 million aid package to Brazil to help combat the forest fires.

Brazil’s Ambassador to France Luís Fernando Serra later rejected this aide, arguing that the package had been agreed on without the approval of the the Bolsonaro administration.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who like Trump has openly cast doubt on climate change, has been facing scrutiny in light of the uptick of wildfires in the Amazon.

Trump has offered praise for the far-right leader amid the heightened criticism. 

“He is working very hard on the Amazon fires and in all respects doing a great job for the people of Brazil – Not easy. He and his country have the full and complete support of the USA!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. 

The Amazon rainforest has experience a record number of wildfires this year. 

According to the country’s National Institute for Space Research, wildfires are up 85 percent compared to 2018, and a majority of these blazes happened in the Amazon region.

—Tess Bonn

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