EU’s Action towards Protecting World’s Forests to Curb EU-Driven Deforestation and Forest Degradation - Papermart

EU’s Action towards Protecting World’s Forests to Curb EU-Driven Deforestation and Forest Degradation

European Union’s new rules aim to avoid deforestation and forest degradation for the listed products that Europeans buy, use and consume in the EU and globally. The regulation is expected to promote pro-forests and sustainable manufacturing practices worldwide in identified sectors.

Jun 15, 2023

European Union

European Union promises EU citizens that its new rules guarantee non-consumption and non-contribution by EU citizens to deforestation or forest degradation worldwide. 

On 17 November 2021, the European Commission proposed a regulation to curb EU-driven deforestation and forest degradation. The main driver of these processes is the expansion of agricultural land that is linked to the production of commodities such as palm oil, cattle, soy, coffee, cocoa, timber, and rubber. A political agreement was reached on a joint proposal in December 2022. It will repeal the EU Timber Regulation. Once in force, operators and traders will have 18 months to implement the new rules, while micro and small enterprises will enjoy a longer adaptation period, as well as other specific provisions.

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The new rules promote the consumption of ‘deforestation-free’ products, reduce the EU’s impact on global deforestation and forest degradation, and are expected to bring down greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss. The new rules aim to

  • avoid that the listed products Europeans buy, use, and consume contribute to deforestation and forest degradation in the EU and globally
  • reduce carbon emissions caused by EU consumption and production of the relevant commodities by at least 32 million metric tonnes a year
  • address all deforestation driven by agricultural expansion to produce the commodities in the scope of the regulation, as well as forest degradation

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The proposal is part of a broader plan of action to tackle deforestation and forest degradation first outlined in the 2019 Commission Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests. This commitment was later confirmed by the European Green Deal, the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, and the Farm to Fork Strategy.