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  • Banner hung by Greenpeace on the facade of the European Commission building, Brussels, Belgium, Sept. 11, 2020.

    Banner hung by Greenpeace on the facade of the European Commission building, Brussels, Belgium, Sept. 11, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 11 September 2020
Opinion

Environmental defenders from around the world call to stop the EU-Mercosur trade agreement.

Greenpeace unfolded a giant banner at the headquarters of the European Commission (EC) in Brussels to denounce the deforestation of the Amazon and criticize the trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur, which has not yet entered in force.

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The poster contains messages like "Amazon fires" and "Europe, guilty", both of which are set against a background of the burning Amazon rainforest. The action was accompanied by smoke flares that symbolized the fires in the Amazon.

Along with them, many activists carried banners in Italian, English, Spanish, and French, reading "Stop the destruction of the Amazon" or "Deforestation begins here."

"We are in front of the EC to recall the responsibility that the European Union has in global deforestation", Greenpeace Ecosystems Campaign Director Sebastien Snoeck said, adding that "10 percent of the world's deforestation concerns the responsibility of the EU."

Greenpeace calls for a strong law that prevents products that are linked to deforestation from entering the European market.

This Friday, a hundred NGOs from around the world, which are grouped under the name # Together4Forests, began a campaign to encourage citizens to take part in the public consultation opened by the European Commission to address deforestation.

Regarding the agreement between the EU and Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay), Greenpeace requests that the ratification process be stopped.

"We know that President Jair Bolsonaro's regime encourages the destruction of the Amazon... the EU cannot be an accessory to that destruction," Snoeck stressed.

However, the EU seeks the application of the trade agreement with Mercosur as soon as possible and ensures that it includes provisions that oblige the parties to apply the Paris Agreement.

Currently, the text of the agreement is in the phase of legal verification and translation into all the official languages ​​of the EU. For it to enter into force, the EU-Mercosur agreement must still pass the parliamentary process.

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