The EPP Group wants clear rules for products such as soy, palm oil, coffee and chocolate in order to stop the destruction of forests in the Amazon, South America, Asia and beyond.
"We believe that to fight climate change and biodiversity loss globally, companies must verify that goods sold in the EU have not been produced on deforested land", said the EPP Group’s Christophe Hansen MEP, who negotiated the new law on behalf of the European Parliament. Parliament will debate the new rules later today and vote on Tuesday.
"No European company should use commodities such as, for instance, palm oil, cocoa, soy, wood, coffee or rubber from illegally-deforested land. We want each European consumer to know whether a chocolate bar, coffee cup or a face cream he or she purchased in a small shop in a random European town has contributed to deforestation or not. We must start becoming concrete about solving the problem", Hansen said.
Between 1990 and 2020, 429 million hectares of forest were cut down worldwide. This corresponds to an area larger than the European Union and is responsible for 11% of greenhouse gases. The consumption of the European Union is responsible for about 10% of the global deforestation of our remaining forests.
For the EPP Group, it is crucial that the new rules do not only help protect forests, but also shield European companies from job losses and loss of competitiveness. "We call on the European Commission to check the impact of the new rules, to avoid meaning well, but doing ourselves a disservice instead", said Hansen.
“I would go as far as to say that if we do not tackle deforestation, all other efforts we are making on EU ground to curb climate change are nothing but a drop in the ocean and will definitely not lead to the change we need to tackle global warming”, Hansen concluded.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States