Top EU diplomat praises climate commitments crucial to Mercosur deal

EU diplomat climate Mercosur deal
EU Commissioner Josep Borrell. Photo: Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock

During a visit to Brasília, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell praised the climate commitments Brazil announced during the COP26 climate summit. “Achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 is the same purpose that we have in the EU. We share the same level of ambition,” he said, during what is the first visit from a top EU diplomat to Brazil in nine years.

Brazilian officials took his words as a sign that the EU could be more inclined to move forward with its trade agreement with Mercosur — the alliance between Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Still, The Brazilian Report understands that negotiations around the EU-Mercosur deal have not made significant progress. 

European governments and parliaments still want Mercosur countries to sign additional environmental pledges. “Brazil has no objection to that,” one negotiator told us.

Mercosur and the EU agreed to terms on a free-trade deal in 2019, but it has yet to be signed and ratified by EU member countries. One reason for this is that the bloc has yet to translate the clauses into its 24 official languages.

But the deal has also faced fierce opposition from European agro-producing countries, fearing disruption from an inflow of highly-competitive products from South America. These countries, led by France, have used Brazil’s rising deforestation rates to stall the deal.

“The European Union remains fully committed to this agreement,” Mr. Borrell said. “The deal is going to be a game-changer, economically and geopolitically. It will strengthen our long-term partnership with the region. The ratification and implementation of this agreement will contribute to a better world.”