The European Union (EU) has reached an agreement to ban the import of products including coffee, cocoa and soy in cases where they are deemed to contribute to deforestation.
According to the European Commission, these commodities have been chosen on the basis of a thorough impact assessment identifying them as the main driver of deforestation due to agricultural expansion.
The law will require companies to produce a due diligence statement showing their supply chains are not contributing to the destruction of forests before they sell goods into the EU, or they could face hefty fines.
“Through this agreement on the eve of the crucial global conference for the protection of biodiversity in Montreal (COP15), the EU is sending a strong signal to the rest of the world that it is determined to address global deforestation that contributes massively to the climate crisis and the loss of our natural environment,” says Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.
“To succeed we will build efficient and close cooperation with both consumer and producer countries to ensure a smooth process.”
According to the European Commission, since the EU is a major economy and consumer of these commodities, this step will help stop a significant share of global deforestation and forest degradation, in turn reducing greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss. This major agreement comes just before the start of the milestone Conference on Biodiversity (COP15) which is set to define protection goals for nature for decades to come.
“Today’s political agreement on the EU’s deforestation law marks an important turning point in the global fight against deforestation. As we make the green transition in the European Union we also want to ensure that our value chains become more sustainable as well. Combatting deforestation is an urgent task for this generation, and a great legacy to leave behind for the next,” says Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal.
For more information, visit ec.europa.eu