France's President Emmanuel Macron Friday insisted his government would oppose the trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur due to incompatible differences regarding climate issues.
The French leader thus vowed to stick to his viewpoint when he assumes the rotating EU presidency in early 2022.
Macron explained the agreement was untenable because as it has been conceived and designed, it cannot be compatible with the climate and biodiversity agenda pursued by his country.
The French head of state made those remarks During the Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Marseille.
It is not because we are not comfortable with our friends from Mercosur, quite the opposite, Macron also said. We must reinvent our trade policies so that they are consistent with our climate policies, with our biodiversity policies, it is a necessity, he added.
The EU-Mercosur agreement was negotiated by the European Commission on behalf of the countries of the Union, but to enter into force it must be ratified by the parliaments of all member states.
Some countries, such as France and Germany, have been reluctant and question Brazil's commitment to environmental issues, particularly regarding the increase in fires in Amazonia.
The document was signed in mid-2019 between the EU and the four full members of Mercosur - Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay - after 20 years of negotiations, but it soon became clear that it was still far from becoming a reality.
The EU's agricultural sector also fears that opening trade with South American countries will destroy their competitiveness, while environmentalists demand that the agreement include clear and strict regulations on production for the protection of the environment.