EU Law Would Ban Goods Linked to Deforestation

The European Union has agreed to a new law that would ban the import of products linked to deforestation. Household goods such as coffee, chocolate, and some furniture will have to pass strict checks to ensure forests weren’t damaged to create them. The EU said the rules would cut carbon emissions worldwide.

Greenpeace called this a breakthrough, but some countries say the rules would hurt international trade. The rules cover palm oil, cattle, soy, coffee, cocoa, timber and rubber that is imported into the EU. They also cover anything derived from these products, such as beef. Companies selling their products into the EU will have to prove their goods are not linked to deforestation, or face fines of up to four percent of their annual EU turnover.

An impact assessment from the European Commission estimated that the new law would protect at least 71,920 hectares (278 sq miles) of forest annually. It would also reduce annual global carbon emissions by 31.9 million metric tons per year, the commission said – roughly the same as the carbon emissions of Denmark in 2021, according to World Bank data.

The European Council – where member states agree policy – and the European Parliament are yet to ratify the agreement. The law is enforceable 20 days after it is formally accepted, which is expected to happen in 2023. Once it becomes law, operators and traders will have 18 months to adhere to the new regulations. Smaller companies will have 24 months to adapt. Companies will have to specifically prove their goods were not produced on land that was deforested after December 2020.

The law change would have little or no impact on prices to consumers, a European Commission spokesperson said. But some of the nations the EU trades with – including Brazil and Indonesia – said the rules would be burdensome and costly. Canada’s ambassador to the EU said the rules would hurt trade between Canada and the EU.

This announcement came on the eve of the COP-15 summit on biodiversity, which was scheduled to run from 7 to 19 December, 2022.

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1 thought on “EU Law Would Ban Goods Linked to Deforestation”

  1. It’s another way of saying that European demand for deforestation products is one of the main impulses to deforestation in developing countries. That and wild animals, drugs and human trafficking.


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