Media headlines worldwide remain fixated on the Amazon rainforest.
There’s the environmental and perhaps existential tragedy that’s currently unfolding, that of deforestation and wildfire ravaging one of the world’s most iconic biomes.
Then there’s the escalating war-of-words between two of the drama’s central players: France President Emmanuel Macron, who gave the Amazon forest fires and climate change central importance at the recent G-7 meeting at Biarritz, and Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, who made ‘disrespectful’ comments about his French counterpart’s wife and ultimately rejected the G7’s offer of $20 million in Amazon aid, citing sovereignty concerns. With each tick of the news cycle, the feud escalates, with Bolsonaro now offering to reconsider the aid package if Macron apologizes for calling him a liar.
It’s a dust-up reminiscent of reality television; but far more consequential since these events will resonate in the global economy. In particular, Brazil’s woeful environmental policies are increasingly causing EU politicians and parties to rethink their recently agreed trade deal with Mercosur.