According to Greenpeace, the trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and the Mercosur countries represents a disaster for the environment on both sides of the Atlantic.
Ten million hectares of the Chaco forest, mainly the provinces of Salta, Formosa, Chaco and Santiago del Estero, are in danger from intensive livestock farming.
“Exchanging cars for cows can never be acceptable when it involves the destruction of the forests of the Gran Chaco and the Amazon, attacks on indigenous peoples and the growing hostility towards civil society.
In addition, the agreement would lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions, ”said Amanda Starbuck, Director of Programs at Greenpeace.
“South America and the EU must stop making trade agreements that benefit large corporations and export opportunities without taking into account the social and environmental damage they cause.
Our governments have a responsibility to address these injustices, rather than pave the way for those seeking short-term benefits, "added Starbuck.
Mercosur and the EU countries want to maximize access to markets and increase exports. The EU seeks to enter the automotive and auto parts market, energy companies, beverages and financial services, among others.
In addition, it aims to eliminate export taxes and for European companies to have access to tenders in contracts at the local level, even for contracts with large municipalities or states.
In return, the EU offers Mercosur countries more access to the market for beef and chicken, sugar and ethanol for biofuels, among other products.
Livestock are the biggest driver of deforestation in the forests of the Gran Chaco and Amazon. Almost eight thousand square kilometers of the Brazilian Amazon were destroyed in 2018, while the expansion plans of the livestock industry in Argentina put 10 million hectares of the Chaco forest at risk.
The final stage of the negotiations attracted two opposing blocs: on the one hand, countries with strong agricultural industries such as France, Ireland, Poland and Belgium, and on the other, more export-oriented countries, such as Germany, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands. , Sweden, Czech Republic and Latvia.
The French-led group maintains that European agriculture is threatened by imports of agricultural products with lower standards, while the German-led group wanted the trade deal completed to open up export opportunities for its auto industries.
Florence Rodriguez. Tel: (54.9.11) 3761.2969
Marina Bello. Tel: (54.9.11) 2643.8628