A statement by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40 Cities

“The lungs of our shared planet are on fire. The Amazon rainforest is one of the most important common goods of humanity, and it is being burnt because of the irresponsible behaviour of a small number of international politicians and corporate executives. 

“The greed of these so-called leaders will impact all of humanity by accelerating the global climate crisis. Inevitably it will be those that benefit least from the proceeds of this illegal activity that will bear the greatest impact of our rapidly heating world. This includes the direct threat posed to indigenous communities in the Amazon Basin, as well as the elderly, vulnerable and youngest citizens of the world’s cities who will suffer most from climate-related disasters in the years ahead.

“Fires burning in the Amazon are a crime against humanity and those responsible must be held accountable. Judges in jurisdictions around the world must be empowered to bring anyone found guilty of destroying the common goods of humanity to justice. That includes those political leaders whose inaction or neglect allows a culture of environmental degradation to flourish.

As mayors of more than 50 of the world’s leading cities prepare to gather in Copenhagen for the C40 World Mayors Summit in October, I will be sure to work on it with my fellow city leaders.

“Just as the international community is quick to respond in the aftermath of humanitarian disasters, from earthquakes to outbreaks of deadly viruses, there must be a similar mobilization of resources to protect the Amazon. I am calling for an urgent international meeting under the aegis of the UN to take all the measures, actions and sanctions necessary to stop this humanitarian disaster. The human body cannot survive without healthy lungs, and our shared planet is no different. For climate justice; for the most vulnerable members of our societies; for the future we want, we must act now.”

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