Brussels’ security was questioned after five Greenpeace activists managed to extend the 14-storey façade of the Berlaymont building in the Belgian city to hang a 30-meter-long sign. The sign depicts a burning crater in the building, revealing the Amazon ablaze, with the message “Amazon fires – Europe is guilty”.
It has replaced the current slogan of the European Union to promote the Union’s next generation recovery plan for the coronavirus-stricken bloc economy.
Activists have also used smoke and fake ash machines to simulate fires currently raging in the Amazon rainforest.
The protest came in response to the European Commission’s decision to consider a new law to reduce Europe’s contribution to deforestation.
Twitter users took to social media to praise the protest, saying it proved that Brussels security had “dropped the ball.”
Someone said: “#Greenpeace #Berlaymont Someone dropped the ball on # EU_Commission Security”
Another said: “Yesterday the European Union Commission building in Berlaymont promised #nextgenerationeu
Today she claims that Europe is guilty of the Amazon fires.
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By purchasing meat and soybeans to feed animals and other products from deforested areas, Europe is complicit in destroying the Amazon and other ecosystems, leading to the collapse of the climate and exposing us to dangerous diseases like Covid-19.
“Europeans should be able to do their shopping safely knowing that there is nothing on the supermarket shelf related to forest destruction or human rights violations – we need strong EU law to ensure that.”
The fires worsened in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil in the first week of September.
Brazil reported 8,373 fires in its part of the Amazon rainforest in the first seven days of September, more than double the number of fires in the same period a year ago, according to data from Brazil’s National Space Research Agency.
The urgent concern is that 27 percent of the major fires so far in September have been in virgin forests, not in recently deforested areas or farmland where the fires have been most contained.
Brussels has long been criticized for pledging to conclude another free trade agreement with Brazil.
The European Union agreement with Mercosur – the South American trading bloc made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – is in progress and awaiting ratification.
But there are concerns that this could cause more environmental damage to the Amazon rainforest.
Berlaymont’s current slogan is the blocs’ initiative to “help repair the economic and social damage caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, initiate European recovery, and protect and create jobs. The European Commission proposes a major recovery plan for Europe based on harnessing the full potential of the European Union’s budget.”
The figures show the cost to produce, install and remove the sign 11,000 euros (9,000 pounds sterling) in 2015.
That’s actually 20 percent cheaper than the average cost of 14,000 euros (£ 12,000) it was in previous years.