Brazil’s environmental commitments are crucial to the conclusion of an EU-Mercosur agreement, says head of European diplomacy

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The head of European Union diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said on Thursday (4) that the environmental commitments assumed by Brazil this year, including those announced at COP26, “will be crucial” for the advancement of the trade agreement signed between the bloc economic and Mercosur.

“These elements will be crucial for the successful conclusion of the EU-Mercosur agreement. We are working together with our Mercosur partners to provide the necessary clarifications in our shared commitment in this area,” said Borrell.

The high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy will make an official visit to Brazil this Wednesday (3) and Thursday.

He had a meeting with Chancellor Carlos França at Itamaraty and has planned a quick meeting with President Jair Bolsonaro (no party), at the Planalto Palace.

Negotiated for years, the trade treaty was announced in 2019 as one of the biggest victories on the Bolsonaro government’s external front.

But the Brazilian president’s strong anti-environmental rhetoric and the advance of deforestation in the Amazon helped to form strong opposition from some European countries to the text, especially France.

This situation held back the necessary ratification for the agreement to enter into force.

Currently, the agreement is in the process of legal review and diplomats from the European Union and Mercosur are discussing additional commitments in the area of ​​the environment to try to reduce opposition to the text in European countries.

The Spanish diplomat quoted on Thursday the environmental promises launched by the Bolsonaro government at the April climate summit, organized by the United States, and more recently at COP26.

“I also want to congratulate and encourage Brazil to fulfill the commitments made this year — including the most recent at COP26 — to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, which is exactly the same purpose we have in the European Union. level of ambition,” he declared.

In addition to the climate neutrality goal, Borrell also mentioned Brazil’s goal of ending illegal deforestation by 2028 —two years before the previous promise— and the new targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to the government’s adhesion Bolsonaro to the Global Commitment on Methane.

“I want to use this opportunity to express that the European Union remains fully committed to this agreement [comercial]. It will be a watershed from an economic and geopolitical point of view,” declared the high European representative.

“The ratification and implementation of this agreement must contribute to a better world and a much better relationship between us [UE e Brasil]”.

The Brazilian foreign minister, in turn, said that, in the meeting with Borrell, there was a reaffirmation of the “reciprocal commitment” to advance the treaty.

“This meeting served for us to reaffirm our reciprocal commitment to close the negotiation of the Mercosur-European Union agreement. And we agree that this agreement, once signed, will guarantee the highest standards of environmental protection, in addition to bringing socioeconomic benefits to the two regions”.

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