Greenpeace activists on Friday hung a banner reading ‘Amazon fires, Europe Guilty’ on the European Commission’s building in Belgium.
According to the environmental group, the Amazon fires are linked to the huge European demand for meat, soy, palm oil and timber, which are produced in the area.
Parts of the Amazon rainforest are being burnt down to create farmland to produce meat and soybeans.
The large banner, accusing Europe of being guilty of the Amazon fires, was put there by activists who abseiled from the EU institution’s roof.
Other group members stood outside with signs in various languages reading ‘Amazon on fire / Europe accomplice’ or ‘Forest destruction starts here’.
A campaigner with the group, Sini Erajaa, told Reuters that there are no European regulations in place to put an end to industrial activities in the Amazon forest.
Erajaa said the Amazon rainforest is the world’s ‘best line of defense’ in the fight against climate change and added forests are ‘a shield against potential future disease outbreaks.’
Fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest worsened in the first week of September and are increasingly spreading into areas of untouched forest.
Brazil reported 8,373 fires in their Amazon rainforest area for the first seven days of September, more than double the number of fires in the same period a year ago, according to data from Brazil’s national space research agency INPE.