Mercosur trade deal and climate crisis


Sir, – The Mercosur trade deal will cost Irish beef farmers between €44 million and €55 million annually as EU beef imports are forecast to increase by 53,000 tons – a 25 per cent increase on current EU imports from Mercosur countries. The Irish Government justifies this by suggesting that, with the exception of the beef sector, the deal is good for the economy.

Did the Government include in its considerations the carbon emissions from Brazilian beef of 70kg carbon dioxide equivalents per kg of beef compared to the 12kg carbon dioxide equivalents per kg of beef from Irish beef ? Or the tree-cover loss due to shifting agriculture since 2018 in Brazil of a massive 835,000 hectares, the highest in 12 years?

How can the Government justify the importing of this beef by its benefit to the wider economy without including the untold costs to the accelerating time bomb of global warming and ecological collapse? The Brazilian rainforests, now at a tipping point, are on fire to make way for pastures for Brazilian beef that Ireland imports to “benefit the economy”. At the same time we incentivise Irish farmers to plant more trees.

Joined-up thinking? – Yours, etc,