New EU law ensures ‘deforestation’ products like palm and soy not sold in EU
This will make it obligatory for companies to verify and issue a so-called “due diligence” statement that goods placed on the EU market have not led to deforestation and forest degradation anywhere in the world after 31 December 2020.
According to the agreed text, while no country or commodity as such will be banned, companies will not be allowed to sell their products in the EU without this type of statement.
As requested by MEPs, companies will also have to verify compliance with relevant legislation of the country of production including on human rights and that the rights of concerned indigenous people have been respected.
The new law would guarantee European consumers that the products they buy do not contribute to the destruction and degradation of forests, including of irreplaceable primary forests, and would hence reduce the EU’s contribution to climate change and biodiversity loss globally.
Christophe Hansen (EPP, LU) said: “It wasn’t easy but we delivered a strong and ambitious result ahead of the biodiversity COP15 conference in Montreal. This important new tool will protect forests globally and cover more commodities and products such as rubber, printed paper and charcoal.
“Moreover, we ensured that the rights of indigenous people, our first allies in fighting deforestation, are effectively protected. We also secured a strong definition of forest degradation which will cover an extensive area of forest. I hope that this innovative regulation will give impetus to the protection of forests around the globe and inspire other countries at the COP15.”
Parliament and Council will have to formally approve the agreement. The new law will come into force 20 days after its publication in the EU Official Journal but some articles will apply 18 months later.