Environment : Europe devours Amazon, claims NGO
25 January 2011
"European consumption threatens to destroy Amazon rainforest," warns Público, in an article highlighting the findings of a report published by the NGO Friends of the Earth (FoE) on 25 January. According to the newspaper, the surface area of the rainforest could be dramatically reduced by 2020, "as a result of the steep increase in European consumption of meat, biofuels and animal feed from Brazil," a phenomenon "that is expected to increase exponentially over the next decade." The daily points out that the EU trade bloc, which is the world’s biggest importer of ethanol, is also home to the fourth largest market for imported meat and one of the main markets for GMO soya. Consumption of these "three pillars of the Brazilian economy" will lead to the permanent degradation of the Amazon Rainforest, which will have a "major negative impact on climate change, biodiversity and the lives of thousands of people," warns Adrian Bebb, agrofuels campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe. Público voices its support for several environmental groups that are hoping to weigh on the EU’s "review of the common agricultural policy (CAP)," which accounts for 40% its budget. The daily remarks that CAP policies, on the table for discussion at 24 January meeting of Europe’s agriculture ministers in Brussels, were responsible for the indifferent reception that greeted the "Meat Free Mondays" initiative when it was presented by singer Paul McCartney in Brussels last year. "Neither the European Commission or the governments of Europe’s 27 member states were willing to consider proposals put forward by the campaign," points out Público.