France threatens to derail EU trade deal with South America after two decades of negotiations | World | News


Paris said the extent of deforestation in some South American countries is a “major” concern. France wants the South American countries participating in the free trade agreement to respect the objectives of the Paris agreement on climate change. The proposed agreement between the EU and South America includes the countries of the Mercosur free trade bloc, including Brazil, Argentina, Pataguay and Uruguay.

After nearly two decades of negotiations, the deal is almost complete.The French government announced: “The draft agreement does not contain any provision to impose discipline on the practices of the Mercosur countries in the fight against deforestation.

“This is the major flaw in this agreement and it is the main reason why, as it stands, France is opposed to the draft agreement”.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex criticizes the agreement.

Mr Castex said it was “a missed opportunity for the EU to use its negotiating power to secure strong guarantees” on environmental issues such as deforestation.

Criticism also comes from French President Emmanuel Macron who strongly disagrees with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s position as a climate change skeptic.

Mr Bolsonaro wants to drop restrictions on deforestation in the Amazon in order to exploit the region for financial gain.

Mr Macron called Mr Bolsonaro “extraordinarily rude” after the Brazilian president said his own first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro, was more attractive than Mr Macron’s wife.

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This year had the highest rate of deforestation in the Amazon since 2007-2008.

Most of the deforestation has occurred in Brazil for soybean cultivation and livestock grazing.

There has been a 30% increase in deforestation in Brazil compared to 2019 levels.

Since 1970, more than 270,000 km² of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed.

At the current rate, the Amazon will lose 40% of its former surface area by 2030.


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