EU, Latin America seek to tackle climate, trade issues

The European Union and Latin American countries are seeking to tackle climate and trade issues together.

“We want to work hard, hand in hand with you to address the biggest challenges of our time; how to further connect our people, how to further connect our businesses, how to de-risk, strengthen and diversify our supply chains, and how to modernize our economies in ways that reduce inequalities and benefit all,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a joint news conference with Brazilian president on Monday in Brussels.

“All of this is within reach if we get the Mercosur-EU agreement across the finishing line,” she stressed and added that the aim is to get to a win-win situation benefiting both sides.

Von der Leyen also announced that the EU will invest further in favor of the local communities, creating better jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said, for his part, that his country is seeking a deeper partnership with the EU, not only about trade but also about the climate issue.

He said that Brazil “has a strong focus on producing renewable energies.”

“Roughly 87% of our electricity is from renewable sources, and 50% of our overall energy production is from renewable sources, as compared to 15% in the rest of the world,” Lula added, stressing that energy and climate transition is now a priority for Brazil.

The president announced that his country will adopt a detailed energy transition program in August.

He ensured that Brazil will meet its climate and deforestation commitments.

EU leaders and leaders from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) have gathered to discuss business and development topics in Brussels for a two-day EU-CELAC summit that will run through July 18.

The EU-Mercosur negotiations on a free trade agreement started in 2000 and went through on and off phases.

The parties agreed on a comprehensive agreement covering issues such as tariffs, rules of origin, technical barriers to trade and intellectual property, among others.

EU and Mercosur were planning to reduce high tariffs on agricultural products, and Mercosur countries would easily sell products such as meat, chicken, and sugar to the EU.

The agreement, however, was never signed nor ratified, and never entered into force.​​​​​​​

Leave a Reply