European Parliament approves a new law to combat global deforestation

The legislation requires companies to ensure that products sold in the EU do not cause deforestation, to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.

Between 1990 and 2020 deforestation affected a larger area of the EU and EU consumption responsible for about 10% of losses.

The European Parliament has definitively approved a law that provides that companies will be able to sell in the EU only products whose supplier has issued a declaration of “due diligence” certifying that the product does not originate from deforested land and has not contributed to the degradation of forests, including irreplaceable primary forests, after 31 December 2020.
As requested by Parliament, companies will also have to verify that these products comply with the relevant legislation of the country of production, including on human rights, and that the rights of the indigenous peoples concerned have been respected.

Products covered by the new legislation include cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soya and wood, including products containing, fed or produced using these products (for example, leather, chocolate and furniture)as originally proposed by the Commission. Also included rubber, coal, printed paper products and a number of palm oil derivatives.
At the request of the EP, the definition of forest degradation has also been extended, which now includes the conversion of primary or naturally regenerated forests into forest plantations or other woodland.

The text must also be formally approved by the Council and will then be published in the Official Journal of the EU, to enter into force 20 days later, so it will be directly applicable in all EU countries.

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