The Latest: EU, Germany back call to discuss Amazon at G-7
BIARRITZ, France (AP) — The Latest on the upcoming Group of Seven leaders' summit (all times local): 1:30 p.m. The European Union and Germany are backing French President Emmanuel Macron's call to put the Amazon fires on the agenda of this weekend's G-7 summit of world leaders in France.
European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said Friday that "the commission is deeply worried. The Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and contains one-tenth of the world's species." Andreeva says the EU's executive arm welcomes Macron's initiative, noting that a "sense of urgency is indeed warranted."
She says the bloc stands ready to help, and can notably offer the use of its satellite system to Brazil and Bolivia. Andreeva says the EU's trade agreement with the Mercosur countries of South America, including Brazil, obliges them to respect the Paris climate change agreement and uphold environmental standards.
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters that Chancellor Angela Merkel views the fires as "shocking and threatening."
Security is getting tighter in the southern French beach resort of Biarritz ahead of the G-7 leaders' summit beginning this weekend.
The airport and train station are closing down Friday afternoon and residents used to bustle at the height of summer vacations say the streets are empty.
The city center is almost deserted, and the seaside around the casino where leaders will meet is under lockdown.
Cars are thoroughly checked and tourists can no longer access their usual haunts.
Philippe Haguet says the gift shop he owns has been empty for the past two days.
Leaders of the Group of Seven countries arrive on Saturday to discuss issues including the struggling global economy and climate change until Monday. They include the United States, Germany, Japan, Britain, France, Canada and Italy.