EU agrees to ban products that drive deforestation

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, December 6, 2022
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BRUSSELS, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on Tuesday on a regulation aiming at making supply chains deforestation-free for products either sold in the European Union (EU) or exported from the bloc.

"The EU is a large consumer and trader of commodities that play a substantial part in deforestation -- like beef, cocoa, soy and timber. The new rules aim to ensure that when consumers buy these products, they don't contribute to further degrading forest ecosystems," commented Marian Jurecka, minister of the environment of the Czech Republic that holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Pending adoption of the regulation, a list of key goods will be permitted to be sold in or exported from the EU only if it is proven that their production did not contribute to deforestation either in the EU or elsewhere in the world.

These goods include palm oil, cattle, soy, coffee, cocoa, timber and rubber, as well as derived products, such as beef, furniture, chocolate, printed paper or selected palm oil-based derivates used as components in personal care products. The list will be reviewed and updated in two years.

Operators wishing to make available or export these products from the EU will have to follow mandatory due diligence rules. They will have to prove that their product is deforestation-free and legal.

Commodities used for production will also be checked for compliance, and geographical information will need to be provided.

Only products that have been produced on land that has not been subject to deforestation or forest degradation after Dec. 31, 2020, will be allowed on the EU market or to be exported.

A fine of at least four percent of the operator's annual EU turnover will be applied in case of non-compliance. The fine should be proportionate to the environmental damage and to the value of the products and commodities.

Once the regulation is in force, operators and traders will have 18 months to implement it.

According to the EU Council, a forest the size of ten football pitches is lost every minute across the world, with farmland increase being a main driver of deforestation.

The EU is on a mission to reduce its carbon footprint to become zero-emission by 2050. As forests absorb a high amount of CO2, fighting deforestation is in line with the EU's Green Deal, the bloc's roadmap to achieve its green and digital transition. Enditem

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