Helen took part in the Westminster Hall debate on deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. This debate was organised in response to a public petition.

The Amazon fires over the summer were not accidental or natural. They were lit deliberately, and they destroyed 7,000 square miles of forest. The situation is particularly worrying because once a large amount of forest is destroyed, we will get feedback mechanisms and we will not be able to control what goes on.

Fires in the Amazon are not a Brazilian problem or a Latin American problem; they are our problem and everybody’s problem, and we need to own the problem and tackle it in that spirit.

“I went to Cotherstone Primary School on Friday and I was asked a lot of questions by the extremely well-informed children. The most worrying question came from a boy who said to me, “What I don’t understand is why proper action hasn’t been taken already.” I have to say that I was quite stumped by that, because it is not as if we have not known about this situation for 10 years, 20 years or 50 years. How bad does it have to get before we take proper action? There is absolutely no longer any room for complacency whatsoever. We only have 12 years now, and we have to sort this out.”

You can follow the full debate on Hansard, the official record of what has been said in Parliament.

The Amazon rainforest is being burned to make way for grazing lands.
The Amazon rainforest is being burned to make way for grazing lands.
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