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EU-Mercosur agreement: an environmental cost too high compared to the economic benefits

2020-09-17T18:25:51.489Z

The 2 to 3% increase in beef production following the opening of the markets would cause an acceleration in annual deforestation of around 5%, according to a report submitted to the Prime Minister on Friday.



The trade agreement between the EU and the South American countries of Mercosur constitutes a "

missed opportunity

" for the climate, according to a report due on Friday to the French Prime Minister, which assesses in particular the impact of deforestation in the Amazon resulting an increase in beef production.

Read also: EU-Mercosur agreement: a mistreated treaty

The agreement signed in summer 2019 between the European Union and Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) “

represents a missed opportunity for the EU to use its negotiating power to obtain solid guarantees that meet expectations. environmental, health and more generally societal of its fellow citizens,

”concludes the Evaluation Commission in its 184-page report which AFP learned of Thursday.

Chaired by environmental economist Stefan Ambec, in July 2019 it was tasked with conducting an independent assessment on the "

potential effects (...) in terms of sustainable development

" of this agreement which has yet to be ratified by all. national parliaments to be definitively validated.

But two parliaments rejected it in its current form and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for the first time on August 21, expressed "

serious doubts

" about it, following in the footsteps of French President Emmanuel Macron who had threatened not to not ratify the deal if the Brazilian government does not take the necessary steps to protect the world's largest rainforest.

Fires there have increased by 28% in one year.

The Ambec commission calculated that the increase of 2 to 3% in beef production which would result from a greater opening of the markets of the two continents should lead, by mobilizing additional pastures, to an "

acceleration of the annual deforestation of around 5%

”for six years following the application of the agreement.

By multiplying CO2 emissions, this deforestation makes the environmental cost of the agreement too high in relation to its economic benefits, underlines the report.

In addition, the future EU-Mercosur treaty simply refers to the Paris Agreement, but does not include “

any effective measure for the implementation of climate commitments

”.

Only a forum for dialogue is foreseen.

Read also: Mercosur: the agreement will wait several years before entering into force

"

It's better than nothing, but this is again a missed opportunity to make all the contractual parties, on both sides of the Atlantic, face up to their responsibilities vis-à-vis future generations

”, Notes the report.

Source: lefigaro

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