Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (2152)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

2152. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the extent to which he plans to address the impact of the Mercosur agreement on Irish agriculture; the degree to which it is proposed to challenge its contradictory aspects, such as deforestation in Latin America to make way for beef production for export globally, both of which will substantially increase carbon emissions, while Irish producers are expected to reduce carbon emissions and-or production; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34645/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Following the conclusion of the headline political agreement of 28 June in the EU/Mercosur trade negotiations, the Deputy will be aware that An Taoiseach has requested the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation to commission a full economic and sustainability assessment to measure its impact. My Department will assist in that exercise regarding the agricultural aspects.

The agreement includes a detailed chapter on Sustainable Development goals. The agreement recognises the need to address the urgent threat of climate change and the role trade has in this regard. It also underscores the importance of both Parties implementing the provisions of the Paris Agreement. It is fundamental that these provisions are adhered to by the Mercosur countries in order for the agreement to progress.

The legal scrubbing process will now commence which may take up to two years to conclude. Ireland will spare no effort during this process to ensure that the proposed safeguard mechanism, product segmentation, the management of TRQs through import licenses, the insistence that all Mercosur imports into the EU fully satisfy EU food safety and animal health requirements, and the commitments in relation to environmental sustainability, climate change and deforestation are set out in as much detail as possible, and in a way that maximises the protection afforded to the European agriculture sector.