Last night the European Parliament clearly called on the EU to develop a new law that prevents products sold in the EU from being produced from deforestation, as well as associated human rights.
The EU is a major consumer of products that drive deforestation, such as beef, cocoa, coffee, palm oil and soy. There is currently no law that prevents products that have caused deforestation from being sold on the EU market.
The landmark report adopted by the European Parliament also calls for the new law to protect other natural ecosystems, such as wetlands, peatlands and savannahs, uphold the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities and for the finance sector to stop financing deforestation too.
EIA is part of a coalition of EU NGOs that has been calling for the EU to adopt a new law, given that voluntary commitments, certification schemes and labels have failed to halt deforestation so far.
“We very much welcome the adoption of this report by Parliament. The EU as a key market has a duty to act to prevents both its consumption and financing causing the destruction of forests”, says EIA Forests Campainger, Siobhan Pearce, “A new law is much needed that makes it mandatory for companies to ensure their products have not cause deforestation, given that voluntary pledges have failed to achieve significant change.”
It will now be up to the European Commission to propose a new law. A public consultation on possible options is currently being run by the Commission until 10th December, with a draft legislative proposal expected in early 2021. Meanwhile, the UK is also considering a new law to help combat deforestation.