` Amazon Wildfires Threaten the EU - Mercosur Trade Deal

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Amazon Wildfires Threaten the EU - Mercosur Trade Deal

Aug. 26, 2019
By Costas Vasilopoulos

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The thou­sands of wild­fires blaz­ing in the Ama­zon rain­for­est could jeop­ar­dize the final­iza­tion of the trade accord that has yet to be rat­i­fied by the Euro­pean Union and the Mer­co­sur bloc of coun­tries.

Sev­eral Euro­pean lead­ers expressed their con­cerns over the fires, with Emmanuel Macron, the French pres­i­dent, tweet­ing Our house is burn­ing.” France and Ire­land warned Brazil that they would call their par­lia­ments to vote against the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the pact if the South Amer­i­can coun­try did not exhibit a strong com­mit­ment to con­tain the fires.

Svenja Schulze, the Ger­man Envi­ron­ment Min­is­ter, in turn, stated that guar­an­tees from the Brazil­ian gov­ern­ment to pro­tect the rain­for­est should be required in order to final­ize the trade deal, but later a spokesper­son for the Ger­man gov­ern­ment said that scrap­ping the deal would not be the proper response to the Ama­zon fires.

Jair Bol­sonaro, the Brazil­ian pres­i­dent, on the other hand, argued that the fires do not by them­selves jus­tify any sanc­tions imposed on Brazil, blam­ing non-gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions and farm­ers for the dis­as­ter.

More than half of the Ama­zon rain­for­est, which is dubbed the lung of Earth’ for the amounts of oxy­gen it releases, is Brazil­ian ter­ri­tory. Rav­aging fires are a usual phe­nom­e­non, but they have increased by almost 80 per­cent this year, alarm­ing envi­ron­men­tal­ists and peo­ple around the world.

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The Ama­zon wild­fires issue was expected to be among the top­ics at the fore­front of the Group of Seven (G7) sum­mit held in Biar­ritz, France.





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