French president Emmanuel Macron will block the Mercosur trade deal with Brazil and its neighbours as a result of ongoing wildfires in the Amazon rainforest and a lack of action from Brazil's government.
“In these conditions, France will oppose the Mercosur deal as it is,” a spokesperson for the French president has said.
Macron has described the Amazon wildfires as “our house is burning” and hopes to discuss the emergency at the ongoing G7 summit.
The French president hopes to:
Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest - the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen - is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let's discuss this emergency first order in two days! #ActForTheAmazon pic.twitter.com/dogOJj9big— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) August 22, 2019
“Tropical forests play a crucial role in the fight against climate change. France is deeply concerned by the many fires that have raged in the Amazon rainforest over the past several weeks, on an unprecedented scale,” said Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French minister for Europe and foreign affairs.
“Fuelled by a drought that has been largely exacerbated by deforestation and the conversion of forested lands into agricultural areas, this episode is affecting several countries in the region, with serious consequences for local populations and biodiversity.”
Comments from An Taoiseach
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said there is no way Ireland will vote for the EU-Mercosur trade deal if Brazil does not honour its environmental commitments.
In a statement, Varadkar said: “There is no way we can tell Irish and European farmers to use fewer pesticides, less fertiliser, embrace biodiversity and plant more of their land and expect them to do it, if we do not make trade deals contingent on decent environmental, labour and product standards."