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EU-Mercosur deal breaches climate laws - new legal analysis

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Greenpeace Germany | 26 February 2024

EU-Mercosur deal breaches climate laws - new legal analysis

Greenpeace Germany published a new legal analysis that shows that the EU-Mercosur deal breaches climate laws. Written by leading climate lawyer Dr. Roda Verheyen and Prof. Dr. Gerd Winter from University Bremen, the analysis concludes that the FTA would not comply with existing EU and international law, because it is expected to lead to an overall rise in greenhouse gas emissions and increased deforestation. This opens up the possibility that the deal could be challenged in the European Court of Justice by an EU government or the European Parliament.

The legal analysis checks the draft trade deal against a number of EU and international treaties, to assess whether it complies with EU and international law, including the Treaty on the European Union (TEU), the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the Charter of Fundamental Rights (CHFR), and the Paris Agreement on climate change. The FTA was also assessed against the general principle of consistency, which requires that the Commission and EU governments ensure it is “compatible with internal Union policies and rules” (Art 207.3 TFEU)

According to the lawyers, concluding a trade agreement that would lead to emission increases both within and outside the EU and to losses of carbon sinks is legally unacceptable. The EU and Mercosur would need to conduct significant renegotiations to remove legal infringements from the current text.

The conclusion: The current version of the EU-Mercosur FTA cannot be signed or ratified by the EU and its member states, because:

  • It infringes the EU’s obligations under international law, and in particular the UN climate regime;
  • It is not in line with EU primary law, i.e. the EU Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights;
  • It is inconsistent with EU secondary law, such as the EU Climate Law.

See the legal analysis in the pdf version below.

 source: Greenpeace Germany