Congressman Sires: “We All Have a Stake in Preserving the Amazon”
“There is a reason that the Amazon Rainforest is often referred to as the lungs of our planet. The 2 million square miles of rainforest traps carbon dioxide—a contributor to global warming—and releases oxygen instead. I am deeply disturbed by the severe fires ravaging the Amazon and damaging the rainforest ecosystem. If these fires are left to consume more land, the forest may no longer be able to play this crucial role of regulating global air quality and we could lose an important resource that combats climate change.
It would be a catastrophe to lose one of our planet’s most unique natural areas and endanger the millions of ecosystems it supports. The Amazon is home to one-fifth of the world’s freshwater supply, which enables indigenous groups to continue living on their ancestral lands and supports millions of insect, mammal, and tree species.
These fires are everyone’s problem. The health of our planet depends on the Amazon and we must do everything we can to limit the impact of these fires.
It’s for this reason that as a member of Congress I have worked to improve U.S. foreign policy. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, I strive to advance our values on the world stage and ensure we lead by example, working with our allies to mitigate the impacts of climate change and preserve the water we drink and the air we breathe for future generations.
I know that our foreign policy has direct impacts here at home, including for my constituents in New Jersey’s 8th district. That’s why I so strongly opposed the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords and have consistently criticized President Trump’s disengagement from global efforts to combat climate change.
In my capacity as Chairman, I will continue to press the government of Brazil and the Trump Administration to take the threat of climate change seriously and take urgent actions to protect the Amazon—doing so is a moral imperative.”