EU trade deal will increase climate emissions from farming, report warns

The EU free trade agreement with the South American Mercosur bloc of countries will increase greenhouse emissions by a third for just eight agricultural commodities, according to NGO research.

GRAIN, which campaigns on agricultural issues on behalf of small farmers and social movements, found the trade deal could boost climate emissions for the products analysed by 8.7 million tonnes per year.

The report follows widespread criticism by environmentalists of the trade deal, agreed in June, which centres on exports of European cars and pharmaceuticals and imports of agricultural products from Latin America. A European Commission study in 2013 found that European imports are a major driver of deforestation, while forest conservation group Fern has said the Mercosur deal “sacrifices forests on the altar of trade” with “devastating” consequences for the climate.

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