By Michalis Polygiannis and Jenik Radon.
The monumental European Union–Mercosur free trade agreement was announced in 2019 after twenty years, literally a generation, of negotiations. This trade agreement will create the largest free-trade zone in the world, cut tariffs, and simplify the customs procedures between the EU states and the Mercosur countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Uruguay. For the EU, this means more exports of high-value products like machinery, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals. In contrast, for the Mercosur countries, it would mean more exports in commodity agricultural products, including meat, poultry and sugar for which quantity is the name of the game, to the European single market,. However, despite the almost endless ongoing global discussions and negotiations for a transition to a low-carbon economy to mitigate climate change, trade and environment are like two ships passing in the night. But President Macron of France is ready to change that and is willing to have a “collision” of these two spheres. [. . .]