Ottawa – Today Greenpeace Canada brought a message to Parliament Hill from over 25,000 Canadians: the Federal government cannot proceed with a trade deal that would contribute to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

Satellite images show that 2020 is the worst fire season in a decade in the Amazon, with new data released today showing a 12.4% increase in fires compared to last year [1]. 

Yet the federal government remains in trade negotiations with Brazil on a deal projected to drastically increase the country’s meat exports to Canada – opening a market to the beef products that are lead driver of the Amazon fires.[2]

Countries like France and Germany have already expressed concern with concluding a trade deal with Mercosur at this time, citing Amazon deforestation and the Brazilian government’s environmental policies.[3] The Liberal government has failed to voice similar concerns, and Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s office has remained silent to thousands of messages from Canadians and Greenpeace Canada’s request to meet.

Indigenous leaders in Brazil are warning that the current situation amounts to an existential threat to their survival.[4] Scientists warn that Amazon deforestation is approaching a tipping point beyond which rainforest will not recover.[5]

Reykia Fick, Nature & Food Campaigner at Greenpeace Canada said: 

“Our government cannot pledge to be a leader for nature while pursuing a trade deal that would make Canada complicit in the destruction of one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. We call on Foreign Affairs Minister Champagne to announce an immediate halt to the Canada-Mercosur free trade negotiations and speak out for Amazon and human rights protections.”


For more information, contact: 

Loujain Kurdi, Communications Officer, (514) 577-6657, [email protected]  


[1] Greenpeace Brazil analysis based on data from INPE (Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research) and Global Fires Emissions Data

[2] MercoPress, ‘Brazil optimistic about a Mercosur free trade accord with Canada’, July 2020 

[3] MercoPress, ‘EU/Mercosur trade deal ratification delay: Brazil accuses France of “protectionist interests”’, September 2020

[4] New York Times, ‘As Bolsonaro Keeps Amazon Vows, Brazil’s Indigenous Fear ‘Ethnocide’’, April 2020[5] Mongabay, ‘‘The tipping point is here, it is now,’ top Amazon scientists warn’, December 2019