The recent agreement between the European Union (EU) and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) has sparked discussions and debates among economists, politicians, and environmentalists. The deal, signed in June 2019, aims to create one of the world`s largest free trade areas, covering 780 million people and a quarter of the global economy. The agreement has been in the making for two decades, but its finalization has raised serious concerns about its potential impact on the environment, human rights, and climate change.
The EU-Mercosur agreement seeks to eliminate tariffs on various goods and services, such as automobiles, chemicals, and food products. The deal would also open markets for both regions, creating new business opportunities and boosting economic growth. The accord is expected to enable the EU to export up to €4 billion worth of goods to Mercosur countries and increase imports from these countries to the EU by €2 billion annually. The agreement would benefit many sectors, such as agriculture, energy, and technology, and create jobs in both regions.
However, the agreement has received criticism from various sectors, mainly due to concerns about environmental degradation and the impact on human rights. Environmentalists argue that the deal would encourage deforestation and the expansion of agribusiness, leading to the destruction of forests and an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Mercosur countries, particularly Brazil, are among the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, and the expansion of agricultural activities would significantly exacerbate climate change.
Some political leaders and human rights activists have also criticized the agreement, accusing Mercosur countries of violating human rights, particularly in the area of indigenous people`s rights. The deal does not impose any specific environmental or social standards on Mercosur countries, and critics argue that this could lead to a race to the bottom in terms of regulation and protection. Moreover, the deal could lead to a significant increase in imports of beef, soy, and other products from Mercosur countries, raising concerns about the welfare of animals, labor standards, and food safety.
In conclusion, the EU-Mercosur agreement presents both opportunities and challenges for the two regions. The deal could boost economic growth, create jobs, and improve the well-being of many people. However, the agreement must consider the environmental impact, human rights, and climate change concerns. The EU and Mercosur countries must implement measures to meet sustainability standards, protect indigenous people`s rights, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement should not come at the expense of the environment or human rights, but rather promote sustainable development and a fairer global trade system.