Compatibility of EU trade policy with the European Green Deal (own-initiative opinion)

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This opinion deals with three of four megatrends at the heart of the new Commission priorities: climate change, biodiversity loss and globalisation. While the European Green Deal will result in higher environmental standards with, for instance, stricter climate change targets, it is important that all Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are not undermining these improvements by contributing to deforestation or biodiversity loss in other countries. As one of the world's largest importer of energy, agricultural goods and raw materials, the EU has contributed to deforestation and biodiversity loss in other countries.

The EESC can play a role in the evolution of the European Green Deal by highlighting the need for coherence between different EU policy areas, in particular the need for trade policy to add to the Green Deal and not undermine it. This opinion aims to highlight the benefits of trade in improving standards, employment, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, environment in Association Agreements, and also to address the concerns of civil society about carbon leakage and deforestation in South-America, Indonesia, Australia etc.