Ireland on Friday threatened to vote against the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement if Brazil does not protect the Amazon rainforest from fierce fires.
"There is no way for Ireland to vote for the free trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur if Brazil does not respect its environmental commitments," warned Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in a statement transmitted to AFP.
"I am very worried about the record levels of fire destruction of the Amazon rainforest this year," he said.
This Irish threat comes as wildfires spread rapidly in the Amazon, with diplomatic repercussions and mobilization of climate activists.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, known for his climate-skeptical stance, is particularly under pressure after suspecting NGOs of being responsible for forest fires.
Varadkar, who condemned the accusations by the Brazilian official, said Ireland would "closely monitor Brazil's environmental actions" in the next two years before the vote on the EU-Mercosur agreement.
The free trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) was signed at the end of June, after twenty years of negotiations and immediately provoked an outcry, especially in the agricultural sector , especially in France.
In Ireland, he worries beef farmers who fear competition from South American meat.
The treaty covers a market of 780 million consumers that accounts for a quarter of the world's wealth.
© 2019 AFP