Brazil’s vice president exchanges criticism with France’s Macron over deforestation in the Amazon By Reuters

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão responded on Wednesday to French President Emmanuel Macron’s criticism that Brazilian soybeans are linked to deforestation in the Amazon (NASDAQ :), saying the European leader did not understand where it came from. most of the Brazilian soybeans. “Mr. Macron is not good!” Mourão told reporters, speaking briefly in French. Mourão said that the amount of soy produced in the Amazon is small and Brazil has the competitive advantage in agriculture, dedicating a much smaller proportion of its land to agriculture than France. On Tuesday, Macron said it was better for Europe to grow its own soybeans rather than import Brazilian crops. “To continue depending on Brazilian soy would be to condone deforestation in the Amazon,” Macron said on Twitter. “We are consistent with our ecological ambitions, we fight to grow soybeans in Europe!” While France itself does not import much Brazilian soybeans, the European Union is the second largest importer of agricultural products from Brazil after China. The EU imported 8.4 million tonnes of soybeans from Brazil in 2020, an increase of 61% compared to 2019, according to statistics from the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. Brazil seeks to expand those exports through a trade agreement between the EU and the Mercosur trading bloc, which also includes Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Details of the deal have yet to be worked out and ratified for it to come into effect, but it faces opposition from agricultural and environmental lobby groups in Europe. Macron has delayed negotiations with Mercosur, saying that he cannot sign an agreement with any country that does not respect the Paris Agreement on climate change. Preserving the Amazon, the largest rainforest in the world, is vital to curbing climate change due to the large amount of greenhouse gases absorbed by the jungle. Deforestation of the Amazon rose to a 12-year high in 2020, with an area seven times the size of London destroyed, data from the Brazilian government shows.

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