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Reflections on the EU Green Deal, Brexit, and the US rejoining the Paris Agreement

The South African exports of fruit, wine and other agricultural commodities to the EU are a significant contributor to the economy, both in relation to GDP produced and employment provided, and the trade relationships between South Africa and the European Union as a regional bloc are both longstanding and extensive. South Africa now faces uncertainty due to the recent exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, as well as from the implications of the new European environmental legislation referred to as “the EU Green Deal”. This short review aims to provide a bird’s eye view of what the EU Green Deal is, what the implications could be, and identify the legislation now applicable. Furthermore, it will briefly look at the impacts of the change of leadership in the United States on the South African agricultural sector. The purpose of this paper is to provide relevant, concise and useful information to the South African agribusinesses and farms engaged in international business and trade relationships. 

THE EU GREEN DEAL

What is it about and what does it mean for imports?

The European Green Deal is a policy action plan to make Europe the first “climate-neutral” continent by 2050. The goals of the Deal, which includes investment needs and financing proposals, are threefold:

  1. Achieve carbon neutrality (no net emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 2050;
  2. Decouple economic growth from resource use; and
  3. Do so in a just and inclusive manner for society.

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