Wildfires

Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron before accepting $20 million in Amazon aid

France's President Emmanuel Macron (L) and Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attend a meeting on the digital economy at the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019.
France's President Emmanuel Macron and Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro at the G20 Summit in Osaka in June. Photo: Jacques Witt/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has said he will only accept a $20 million aid package from G7 nations to fight fires in the Amazon rainforest if French President Emmanuel Macron apologizes, according to the AP.

The big picture: Macron and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have traded barbs on Twitter over the fate of the Amazon, which has seen an 84% increase in wildfires this year compared to 2018. Bolsonaro has described the offer of international help as a “colonialist mentality," while Macron has questioned the Brazilian president's commitment to environmentalism. Per the AP, Bolsonaro says Macron must take back some of his comments "and then we can speak."

In photos: The devastating impact of the Amazon rainforest fires

The Amazon region experiencing more fires, with more intense burns, than in recent years.
How the fires look from space. Photo: Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory/Facebook

The Amazon rainforest has been ravaged by hundreds of fires for the past 3 weeks, and the Brazilian government has deployed 44,000 troops to battle the blazes.

Why it matters: World leaders at the G7 summit have pledged a $20 million aid package to help affected South American countries fight the blazes. The BBC notes that from 1980 to 2010, the rainforest's trees are estimated to have pulled in carbon dioxide equivalent to the fossil fuel emissions of most of the 9 countries that own or border it.