France and multiple Brazilian states reportedly plan to team up, bypassing right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, to protect Brazil's rainforests as they are ravaged by wildfires.
Waldez Góes, who governs Brazil's Amapá state, told Reuters on Monday that a partnership would be announced this week at the United Nations climate conference in Madrid.
Góes said that the group of nine states, part of Brazil's Amazon region, plan to unveil a way for foreign nations to give money to state-level projects aimed at preserving the forests.
The announcement comes after Brazil's national government rejected an offer of $20 million from members of the Group of Seven (G-7) countries to help fight fires in the forest. France is part of the G-7, while Brazil is not.
"We refuse because we see interference. [It’s] help we didn’t ask for," Brazil's ambassador to France said at the time. "The G-7 help was decided without Brazil.”
Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 after pledging that he would open the forest to business development and has blamed the country's environmental policies for “suffocating” its economy.
French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronNew French law bans unvaccinated from restaurants, venues Europe's energy conflict fuels outbreak of realism about climate policy The US must consider using its Arctic advantage against Russia MORE has reportedly accused Bolsonaro of lying about his commitment to environmental protection.