Pope calls for global commitment to put out Amazon fires

In Summary

• We are all worried about the vast fires - Pope.

Pope Francis at a past event.
Pope Francis at a past event.
Image: FILE

Pope Francis on Sunday called for a global commitment to put out the fires in the Amazon, saying the area was essential for the health of the planet.

"We are all worried about the vast fires that have developed in the Amazon. Let us pray so that with the commitment of all, they can be put out soon. That lung of forests is vital for our planet," he told thousands of people in St. Peter's Square for his weekly address. 

French President Emmanuel Macron had earlier said the record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest is an "international crisis" that needs to top the agenda at this weekend's G7 summit.

"Our house is burning," he tweeted.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro responded by accusing Mr Macron of using the issue for "political gain".

He said calls to discuss the fires at the G7 summit in Biarritz, which Brazil is not participating in, evoke "a misplaced colonialist mindset".

The largest rainforest in the world, the Amazon is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming.

Satellite data published by the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) has shown an increase of 85% this year in fires across Brazil, most of them in the Amazon region.