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France to Partner With Brazil States on Amazon, Bypassing Bolsonaro

France and a group of Brazilian states plan to announce a partnership to preserve the Amazon rainforest, the group’s leader said on Monday, bypassing Brazil’s federal government after a spat between the presidents of the two countries.

Amapa state Governor Waldez Goes, who heads the consortium of the nine states that comprise Brazil’s vast Amazon region, told Reuters that the partnership would be announced at the U.N. climate summit in Madrid this week and would include other initiatives aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. 

Fires in Brazil’s section of the rainforest, which accounts for 60% of the overall Amazon and is seen as a bulwark against climate change, surged in August to their highest point since 2010. The widespread blazes provoked an international outcry that Brazil was not doing enough to protect its forest. 

French President Emmanuel Macron called for urgent actions to be taken on the fires, rapidly becoming embroiled in a war of words with Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro.

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