Deforestation debateEthical News News & Features
Today (07 October), MPs will debate a petition urging the UK to make demands to the EU and UN to sanction Brazil to halt increased deforestation of the Amazon. Daniel Zeichner MP, a Member of the Petitions Committee, will open the debate.
The petition, which has more than 122,000 signatures, states: ‘The government of Brazil led by Bolsonaro favours the development of the Amazon rainforest over conservation, escalating deforestation.
‘Indigenous people have called for the EU to impose trade sanctions on Brazil to halt the deforestation because they fear genocide.’
Sanctions vs cooperation
In response to the petition, the Government said: ‘The United Kingdom shares concerns about deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, and the severe impact on the climate, biodiversity and livelihoods. However, key to tackling these issues is to work with Brazil to find solutions rather than imposing sanctions.’
Today’s debate will provide an opportunity for MPs to question a government minister directly on these topics.
Where the petition was signed
The top 10 parliamentary constituencies that supported the petition ‘Demand the EU & UN sanction Brazil to halt increased deforestation of the Amazon’ are as follows (correct on 01 October 2019).
1. Bristol West, Thangam Debbonaire MP (1,035 signatures)
2. Brighton, Pavilion, Caroline Lucas MP (870 signatures)
3. Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Rt Hon Diane Abbott MP (854 signatures)
4. Hackney South and Shoreditch, Meg Hillier MP (842 signatures)
5. Hornsey and Wood Green, Catherine West MP (822 signatures)
6. Islington North, Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP (738 signatures)
7. Holborn and St Pancras, Rt Hon Keir Starmer MP (733 signatures)
8. Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali MP (676 signatures)
9. Lewisham, Deptford, Vicky Foxcroft MP (632 signatures)
10. Dulwich and West Norwood, Helen Hayes MP (613 signatures)
Petitions in parliament
The Petitions Committee has the power to schedule a petition or petitions for debate in Westminster Hall on a Monday from 16.30, for up to three hours.
The Committee will take into account the number of signatures when deciding which petitions should be debated in Westminster Hall. The presumption is that a petition with 100,000 signatures or more will be debated unless:
– The subject has recently been debated or is likely to be debated in the near future
– The Committee (or another parliamentary or government body) has decided to pursue the issue in another way
– The subject is unsuitable for debate in parliament; this includes topicality, including the breadth of interest among MPs, and whether the subject is likely to be debated in parliament by other means