Brussels, 16 December 2019 – Agriculture and forest ministers are expected to issue a strong call to the Commission today to “step up EU action” on deforestation and forest protection. The Commission now has their backing to put forward new legislation to ensure EU consumption of products such as soy, beef and palm oil will not drive further forest destruction.
The ministers are highly likely to welcome the Commission’s earlier communication on action against deforestation and request an “assessment of additional demand side regulatory and non-regulatory measures” as well as proposals to tackle EU’s global forest footprint.
Greenpeace agriculture and forests campaigner Sini Eräjää said: “For years, pledges by companies and governments have failed to halt deforestation. The Commission’s own analysis shows what the problem is and EU countries are now backing enforceable action. It is time for the Commission to propose binding rules that would make it illegal to put products linked to deforestation on supermarket shelves across Europe.”
Greenpeace calls on the Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal in 2020 to ensure that products that cause forest destruction like soy, beef, palm oil and cocoa comply with strictly defined sustainability criteria to avoid environmental and social impacts like deforestation, degradation of natural ecosystems and human rights violations. The Commission has already carried out numerous studies on the topic, and its latest one shows that new legislative measures are needed to solve the problem.
To be successful, any proposal must be part of a comprehensive set of measures that protect the world’s forests and that tackle deforestation and the unhealthy overconsumption and production of meat and dairy products. 80% of global deforestation is driven by agricultural expansion, particularly to produce feed such soy for chicken, pork and other animals we eat.
The proposals now on the table for the next Common Agricultural Policy and the new Commission’s outline for a Farm to Fork Strategy have so far failed to even mention the problem of overconsumption and production.
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