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To examine the role of the international community in shaping Latin America’s environmental agenda, the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program and its Brazil Institute, Environmental Change and Security Program, China Environment Forum, and Global Europe Program launched a collaborative research project last year, Latin America’s Environmental Policies in Global Perspective. Through a series of papers written by experts representing diverse perspectives, the project explores how environmental challenges in Latin America increasingly condition the region’s most important diplomatic and economic relationships, and how those relationships in turn impact conditions on the ground.

Detlef Nolte, a political scientist affiliated with the German Council on Foreign Affairs, examines rising trade tensions between the European Union and Mercosur. In 2019, the European Union and Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay agreed on the principles of a free trade agreement. However, shifting attitudes in Europe and Brazil’s controversial environmental policies have jeopardized the deal. In The EU’s Beef with Mercosur: Geo-economics versus Climate Diplomacy, he writes: “The reorientation (or rather dismantling) of the Brazilian government’s environmental policy and the 2019 and 2020 wildfires in the Amazon rainforest have fueled European mobilization against the EU-Mercosur agreement.”

About the Author

Image - Detlef Nolte

Detlef Nolte

Political Scientist, German Council on Foreign Affairs
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Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

Global Europe Program

The Global Europe Program addresses vital issues affecting the European continent, U.S.-European relations, and Europe’s ties with the rest of the world. It does this through scholars-in-residence, seminars, policy study groups, media commentary, international conferences and publications. Activities cover a wide range of topics, from the role of NATO, the European Union and the OSCE to European energy security, trade disputes, challenges to democracy, and counter-terrorism. The program investigates European approaches to policy issues of importance to the United States, including globalization, digital transformation, climate, migration, global governance, and relations with Russia and Eurasia, China and the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.  Read more

Brazil Institute

The Brazil Institute—the only country-specific policy institution focused on Brazil in Washington—works to foster understanding of Brazil’s complex reality and to support more consequential relations between Brazilian and U.S. institutions in all sectors.  Read more

Environmental Change and Security Program

The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.  Read more

China Environment Forum

Since 1997, the China Environment Forum's mission has been to forge U.S.-China cooperation on energy, environment, and sustainable development challenges. We play a unique nonpartisan role in creating multi-stakeholder dialogues around these issues.  Read more