Ireland is ready to block a trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur unless Brazil takes action on the Amazon forest, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said today.
In a statement, Varadkar says the Mercosur deal is two years away and Ireland will monitor Brazil’s environmental actions to determine whether to block the deal.
He added Irish and European farmers could not be told to use fewer pesticides and respect biodiversity when trade deals were being made with countries not subjected to “decent environmental, labour and product standards.”
More context: Wildfires are raging at a record rate in Brazil's Amazon rainforest. Environmental organizations and researchers say the wildfires were set by cattle ranchers and loggers who want to clear and utilize the land, emboldened by the country's president.