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  • Rich D'Amaru

EU Trade Deal Must Protect the Amazon

This article by Molly Scott Cato MEP was originally posted here.

The proposal to open up the Renca reserve in the Amazon for exploitation by large mining companies would be catastrophic for the earth’s climate, for biodiversity and for local indigenous communities. At the same time, the European Union is negotiating a new trade agreement with Mercosur, the Latin America regional trade bloc, of which Brazil currently holds the presidency. This is a vital opportunity for the EU to use our trade muscle to make clear that the Amazon is not for sale and that minerals extracted from a protected reserve will never find their way onto European markets.

World Trade Organisation rules also make clear that trading parties have a legitimate right to ban imports if it is “necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health”. I have written to trade commissioner Malmström stating my clear view that the Renca reserve is necessary to protect human life and demanding that she excludes its products from the free trade deal. I will be urging my MEP colleagues to vote against the deal if it does not include this guarantee.

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