Brussels – The European Parliament has voted to call for a strong law which would go a long way towards ending the EU’s complicity in deforestation, ecosystem destruction and human rights abuses, said Greenpeace. The Parliament’s plenary session voted to call on the European Commission to draft new EU law requiring companies to show that their supply chains do not contribute to the destruction of forests or other ecosystems, or human rights abuses, if they want to place products on the EU market. The Parliament is expected to rubber stamp the votes later this afternoon.
The EU is responsible for 10% of the world’s deforestation, through its consumption of commodities like beef, soy for animal feed, palm oil and other products from deforested areas. Over 260,000 people have already responded to a European Commission public consultation on deforestation, asking the Commission to introduce a law to make sure that products on the EU market are not contributing to the type of destruction taking place in the Amazon rainforest and other ecosystems.
Greenpeace EU forest campaigner Sini Eräjää said: “Corporations had decades to stop forest destruction, but empty promises and paid-for certification just doesn’t cut it. Europeans want to have the guarantee that their weekly shopping or savings account is not funding ecosystem destruction or human rights abuse. The Parliament has joined the call, and it’s time for the Commission to write a strong law that ends European complicity in forest destruction.”
The Parliament also voted to require financial institutions operating in Europe to show that their investments are not funding forest destruction or human rights abuses. The Parliament’s vote also proposes to extend these protections to other vital ecosystems such as savannas, grasslands, peatlands and mangroves.
Once the Parliament’s vote on the report is fully concluded in the afternoon, it will be a formal, detailed request to the European Commission – the EU institution that officially holds the legislative pen – to draft a law. The European Commission is currently running a public consultation on what action the EU should take to address its role in global forest destruction, and the Commission’s work plan foresees the publishing of a draft law on this issue before summer 2021.
Sini Eräjää, Greenpeace EU agriculture and forest campaigner: +32 (0)476 97 59 60, email@example.com
Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 19 11, firstname.lastname@example.org
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