As raging fires rip through the Amazon, Brazilian President Jais Bolsonaro is keeping focus on a diplomatic tit-for-tat with French President Emmanuel Macron, now vowing to stop using Bic pens.
Bolsonaro said Friday he was dumping the French brand in favour of one of his country’s own.
“A pen [of the Brazilian brand] Compactor and no more Bic will work,” he said, according to the outlet.
His remarks follow a Facebook live broadcast on Thursday during which he said he would no longer use Bic “because it is French.”
The far-right leader’s latest move comes after Macron, on the eve of the G-7 summit last week in Biarritz, France, deemed the fires a global crisis that must be tackled during the conference.
“Our house is burning. Literally,” he said in a tweet. “Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days!”
Roughly 60% of the Amazon’s rainforests are located in Brazil, and play a significant role in absorbing carbon dioxide that triggers global warming.
Bolsonaro ― who has mocked concerns about climate change and appointed a top official who calls it a Marxist hoax ― was clearly irked that Macron would suggest addressing a matter concerning Brazilian territory at meetings where Bolsonaro himself would not be in attendance. In response, he lashed out at the French president, accusing him of harbouring a “colonialist mindset in the 21st century.”
As tensions ratchet up, Bolsonaro has since refused to communicate with Macron unless he retracts his statements, even passing up more than $20m in G7 aid to fight the fires, though he has indicated he may reverse the decision.