All posts tagged: free trade agreement

EU secures a dirty LNG deal with Argentina but no clean path with critical Mercosur partners

Days after his nation assumed the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, opened a key session of the bloc’s meeting with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Given its cultural ties to the region, Spain hopes to make progress on the European Commission’s new strategy for Latin America. This includes negotiating a new Free Trade Agreement with Brazil, Argentina and other Mercosur nations securing critical raw materials for the EU’s energy transition – in this case access to both the continent’s lithium and vast volumes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for its still grey present. With Argentina set to join Brazil as a key supplier of oil and LNG, Brussels is seeking to install green strings onto their new agreements. But CELAC nations are pushing back, countering that their interests shouldn’t be dictated by their former colonial powers. As lead blogger and podcaster, Michael Buchsbaum, reviews, though oil deals are easy, Mercosur agreements are proving harder to forge.

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The world’s biggest trade bloc is born – what does it mean for the energy transition?

The year 2020 brought us a devastating pandemic and an economic slowdown but also some decisive moments for the global energy transition. Last year ushered in a wave of groundbreaking pledges on carbon and climate neutrality. Meanwhile, clean energy investments have proven resilient to the global economic downturn, further shrinking prices for renewable power generation equipment and the ongoing electrification of many economies. Finally, a potential game changer for the global energy transition occurred last November: After nine years of protracted negotiations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed by 15 Asian and Pacific countries. Early signs, however, suggest it will prove a mixed bag for efforts to reduce global CO2.

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How the EU-Mercosur trade deal is worsening the international climate crisis

After twenty years of negotiations, the European Union is in the process of advancing one of the world’s largest free trade agreements with four states of Mercosur. The planned agreement suggests a political path that veers towards a worsening of the international climate crisis. Kathrin Meyer discusses the questionable contents of the political act, which will solidify inequality amongst the trade partners and enable the expansion of environmentally harmful methods.

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