10 Sep 2020, 13:52
Benjamin Wehrmann

Majority in Germany and other EU countries reject Mercosur agreement on climate grounds

Clean Energy Wire

A clear majority of people in major European countries are in favour of halting talks over the Mercosur agreement between the EU and South American states if it contributes to a greater destruction of the Amazon forest, a survey commissioned by campaigning organisation SumOfUs has found. About three in four people in Europe said the agreement ought to be stopped if it has an effect on deforestation of the world's largest rainforest. About three quarters of the people surveyed in Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands said the EU generally should only agree to trade deals that are in line with its commitment to fight global warming, the survey conducted by pollster YouGov found. The EU Council will debate the Mercosur deal in the coming weeks and German agriculture minister Julia Klöckner in early September said it would not be ratified any time soon, said SumOfUs. The organisation's campaigner Christian Bock said German Chancellor Angela Merkel should "keep her word" and reject the trade agreement in its current form instead of trying to "secretly" push ahead with it. According to the organisation, about 1.7 million people signed petitions against the agreement.

Industry bodies have urged Merkel to continue pursuing the trade agreement after she expressed concerns over illegal deforestation and forest fires in Brazil, arguing that signing it would help "request consultation with Brazil on sustainability issues." The EU-Mercosur deal is being prepared for ratification by the 27 EU member states and was due to be signed in the summer, before the coronavirus pandemic delayed the process.

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