Summary: The EU’s draft regulation on deforestation-free products proposes to restrict imports of key agricultural commodities – cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, soy, and wood – grown on land that was deforested after 2020, but it does not place restrictions on commodities linked to rights violations as defined under international standards. In the coming months, the European Parliament and EU member states will amend and vote on the regulation on deforestation-free products.
Why this is important: If tropical deforestation were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide on Earth. Many of the most influential companies driving deforestation have yet to adopt policies to root it out from their supply chains, and those that have, have not enforced them.
The big theme: Social pressure in Europe is pushing the European Union to act on issues such as deforestation, child labour and modern slavery. Organisations such as Greenpeace have created an almost unstoppable momentum. And actions of countries such as Brazil have made this a front of mind issue.
Summary of a story published in 3BL:
Ultimately, only time will tell if the commitments ratified in Glasgow are sufficient to “keep 1.5°C alive”. But despite the prevailing atmosphere of uncertainty and ambivalence that punctuated the resolution of the conference, optimism can be derived from the fact that tangible progress was achieved on tackling at least one major climate driver – deforestation.
The publication on November 17, 2021, of a European Commission “Proposal for a regulation on deforestation-free products” suggests that EU regulators are serious about translating their pledges into practical policy action, with potentially far-reaching economic and legal consequences for companies trading on the EU market.
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