Greenpeace slams EU-Mercosur accord in protest outside European Council headquarters
Brussels, May 25 (EFE).- Greenpeace activists hung a large banner here Thursday on the facade of the European Council’s headquarters and simulated the spraying of pesticide in a protest against the trade deal linking the European Union and South American trade bloc Mercosur.
The action coincided with a meeting of EU trade ministers in Brussels.
The activists scaled the facade of the Europa building early Thursday to hang a banner reading “STOP EU-MERCOSUR” and send a clear message to the EU ministers to bring an end to a harmful agreement, Lis Cunha, a Greenpeace expert and campaigner on trade, told Efe.
“The agreement boosts all kinds of products that are damaging for climate and nature, like pesticides, like beef, like combustion engine cars, all products that we don’t want to have anymore in the climate crisis,” she said.
Greenpeace said that if the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement is ratified it would lead to “increases in exports of toxic chemicals.”
“It’s going to mean that we’re going to have more beef from South America here in Europe. We’re going to have more pesticides from Europe impacting people, communities, rivers and biodiversity in South America,” Cunha said.
The proposed pact between the EU and the Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) has come under criticism from several European governments and parliaments, as well as from farmers and civil society on both sides of the Atlantic, because of the disastrous impact it would have on local agriculture, nature, human rights and climate, the organization says.
The environmental watchdog added that the reductions in tariffs and controls on products such as car parts and pesticides from Europe contained in the agreement would accelerate the already alarming pace of natural destruction in South America.
The EU-Mercosur pact, on which the two sides reached agreement in principle in 2019, is “a disaster for people and for nature,” Cunha said, adding that as long as it boosts harmful products like pesticides “it is a very bad agreement.”