Fearing Macron`s attitude, French and Brazilian businessmen (particularly Brazilian agricultural interests) are pushing their respective governments to ease tensions between the two countries in favour of the mercosur trade agreement with the EU. Diplomats from both countries will participate in a video conference tomorrow, Tuesday, during which they will review their bilateral agenda. When the agreement was signed in the summer of 2019, the European Commission had not yet finalised the final sustainability report (AIS) on Mercosur`s environmental performance. “First of all, the pact, which is an association agreement [including trade, political and cooperation pillars], must be ratified by countries so that it can enter into full force. However, if the European Commission, with the support of the European Parliament and its Member States, separates the free trade agreement from the Association Agreement, it can try to implement its trade component and leave aside the political issues of the pact, including the environment, i.e. the provisional implementation of the agreement. It all depends on what the European Commission is going to propose to Parliament,” said Filipe Gruppelli Carvalho, an analyst at Eurasia Group, an American political risk analysis consultant with offices in five countries, including Brazil. The potential impact of the agreement on the environment, in particular the fact that it could be a setback in the fight against climate change, is also of concern.  The Amazon rainforest is one of the largest carbon sinks in the world.  But the amount of carbon that the Amazon absorbs and stores each year from the atmosphere has decreased by about a third over the past decade.
 This decline in the Amazon carbon sink amounts to one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, more than double the UK`s annual emissions.  Since the election of Jair Bolsonaro as President of Brazil, deforestation in the Amazon has worsened.  Deforestation in the Amazon is now at its highest level in a decade, with deforestation increasing by 13% in 2018.  Find out how the EU-Mercosur trade agreement would help small businesses that are already exporting to the world. According to Jonathan Watts, “the negotiations lasted nearly two decades, which may explain why the result signed last week reflects the industry-friendly values of the past rather than the environmental concerns of the present.”  According to an editorial in the Irish Times, “EU countries are committed to achieving net zero carbon by 2050, but this will not be significant if the world`s largest carbon sink is destroyed.”  Former French environment minister Nicolas Hulot condemned the agreement in an interview with Le Monde, saying it was “totally contradictory” to the EU`s climate targets and warned that it would further destroy the Amazon rainforest.  The Financial Times expressed concern that “the EU-Mercosur agreement will not nullify climate efforts”.  The critical pressure increased last week when 265 European and Latin American organisations sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 28 EU member states asking them to reject the Mercosur agreement.