Members of the European Union (EU) have been blamed for indirectly destroying the Amazon area of Brazil.
The group has been accused of importing and consuming agricultural products – leading to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.
This is despite the much-publicised opposition of the EU to the deforestation of the Amazon in 2019.
During the period, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government was accused of turning a blind eye to unprecedented levels of illegal mass deforestation.
According to research journal Science, as much as 22% of the soy and upwards of 60% of the beef exported annually to the EU may be contaminated with illegal deforestation.
“The Brazilian government and agribusiness contend that national laws ensure high conservation standards, and hence trading bans should not include legally authorized deforestation ….we address the inter-linkage between illegal deforestation in the Amazon and Cerrado—the largest Brazilian biomes with the highest rates of deforestation—and EU imports of Brazil’s soy and beef, the country’s major agricultural commodities (table S9). Although most of Brazil’s agricultural output is deforestation-free, we find that 2% of properties in the Amazon and Cerrado are responsible for 62% of all potentially illegal deforestation and that roughly 20% of soy exports and at least 17% of beef exports from both biomes to the EU may be contaminated with illegal deforestation.”Science Journal
Brazil was accused of deliberately allowing the spread of wildfires across the Amazon basin in a bid to support agro-business interest groups.
Following International pressure, the Brazilian government announced a 120-day ban on fires set to intentionally clear Amazon rainforest for agriculture.
But this new report now puts the EU in a bind of marching words with action.