Will the EU Finally End its Complicity in Global Deforestation?

Photo-illustration: Unsplash (John-o-Nolan)

Once again, government officials and politicians are returning home from the climate negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow with their bags full of promises and pledges to tackle the climate crisis, including lofty pledges to stop deforestation by 2030.

We’ve been here before, and we all know that we can’t afford to waste another decade watching the wrecking of valuable ecosystems vital for Indigenous people, climate protection and countless species.

That’s why all eyes are on the European Commission’s announcement of their new law to cut the EU’s complicity in global forest destruction and the human rights violations that go with it.

At the moment, people in Europe have no guarantee that what they put in the shopping basket – food, coffee, soap, paper, you name it – doesn’t link them to deforestation. Similarly, there’s no requirement for European banks to show that their investments aren’t financing ecosystem destruction.

Through their high consumption, the countries of the EU are responsible for 17% of tropical deforestation linked to internationally traded commodities like meat, palm oil or soy. The EU’s own forests are also suffering as they are increasingly fragmented and losing biodiversity.

A year ago, over 1.1 million people mobilised to demand an EU law requiring companies selling products on the EU market to show that their supply chains are clean of forest or ecosystem destruction, or human rights abuses – and for banks operating in the EU to show their investments are clean too. Brave activists climbed the European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels to show how the EU is complicit in ecosystem destruction and demand a new EU law to stop it. The European Parliament demanded the same thing, and even the European Commission’s own studies did too.

It seems like EU leaders have heard us. Just the other day, the President of the European Commission herself said at the COP26 in front of other world leaders: “European voters and consumers are making this increasingly clear to us: They no longer want to buy products that are responsible for deforestation or forest degradation.”

But is the European Commission delivering on its promises?

Well, what they are proposing is almost a historic step, with some hesitation. Let’s say it’s a historic shuffle – with some serious stuff missing.

You can read the whole article HERE.

Source: Greenpeace