Prioritizing economic growth over climate, government tells trade negotiators

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The UK government is asking its trade negotiators not to let environmental concerns hamper post-Brexit deals, according to a leaked document.

The document, signed by the Department for International Trade, suggests that the UK should not refuse a deal if other countries do not mention environmental guarantees in the agreements.

The document, first reported by Sky News, showed that department heads said the “economic case” was more important when discussing trade agreements.

Small economic benefits

This despite the fact that a possible post-Brexit Trade the deals will have even smaller benefits than the biggest deal the government was hoping for with the United States, which would have represented less than 0.16% of GDP over two decades.

Emily Thornberry, shadow secretary for international trade, said Sky News: “It is really shocking to see a document circulating within the government where it basically says:” Whatever climate change, whatever the environment “.

Thornberry also referred to the UK’s ongoing negotiations with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, which has consistently sparked controversy over deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

She said the UK government document basically says, “Bolsonaro is a tough guy, if you want a trade deal with Brazil, and he wants to sell us stuff from a rainforest, we probably shouldn’t too much. stop us because otherwise we won’t end up with a trade deal ‘- really? ”

But a spokesperson for the Department of International Trade said “this is not government policy and is not reviewed by ministers.”

British newspaper related to deforestation in Brazil

In the meantime, a new investigation by ITV News, Greenpeace Unearthed and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism have found that some of the UK’s most popular dairy brands are linked to deforestation in Brazil.

According to her, Cadbury Chocolate, Cathedral City Cheddar, Anchor Butter, Country Life Butter, Clover Dairy Spread, Davidstow Cheddar, Arla’s Cravendale Milk and Asda’s Farmers Milk are contributing to the destruction of the Brazilian forest thanks to the supply of soybean feed.

Anna Jones, of Greenpeace UK, said ITV News: “People are not really aware that their cheese contains deforestation.

“The reason this is important is that these forests that have been destroyed are of critical importance to our climate and to the health of the planet. If we don’t have these forests, then our climate will fall into a kind of chaos.

Boris Johnson urged the world to ‘act now’ in August

In August, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in a report that the harmful impact of humans on the planet has already been “locked in” for decades, but the climate crisis could get worse.

Without rapid and large-scale action to reduce emissions, global temperatures are expected to rise and exceed the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius over the next two decades.

At the time, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the report “sobering reading” and called on the world to “act now”, ahead of the Great Britain-led Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow in November. Brittany.

Related: REVEALED: British dairy brands linked to deforestation in Brazil

Climate emergency: ‘Code red for humanity’ as Thunberg urges the world to ‘be brave’


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