Recognising the EU’s role in consuming commodities through deforestation, the European Commission has published its long awaited proposal for a new law that aims to stop commodities such as palm oil, beef, soy, or coffee produced through deforestation being placed on the EU markets.
EIA has long campaigned for this – in 2020, tens of thousands of EU citizens polled across 25 EU countries agreed that new laws are needed to ensure the products sold in EU countries do not contribute to global deforestation. Moreover in 2021, more than 1.2 million EU citizens responded in record numbers to an EU consultation on this very proposal.
EIA welcomes this law, which would be the very first of its kind to ensure products are deforestation-free.
In the next steps, the proposal may change as it moves between the European Parliament and national ministers. EIA and our NGO colleagues will be keeping a close eye on it.
We will continue to work hard to ensure that this proposal delivers what it says on the tin from which products will be covered and what companies will have to do to prove their supply chains are free from deforestation and abuses of rights to how it will be checked and enforced on the ground.
We must ensure that forests, biodiverse-rich habitats and the rights of people who depend on these forests are strengthened and upheld. Moreover, we will need the EU to engage in strong meaningful partnerships with producer countries to address the root causes of deforestation, support national processes and create systemic changes that will have long-lasting effects.
This is an exciting time for forests worldwide and, hopefully, this legislation offers some light at the end of the tunnel.