European Parliament calls for EU law on deforestation

Posted on 22 October 2020

​The European Parliament has called for a new law to stop EU-driven deforestation.
MEP Delara Burkhardt’s report was adopted by a clear majority - 377 in favour, 75 against, 243 abstentions. WWF congratulates MEPs for this bold move to support new legislation to eradicate deforestation, nature destruction and human rights violations from the EU’s supply chain, and demonstrating to the 320,000+ people who have so far demanded this law that they plan on being on the right side of history and our future. 

Anke Schulmeister-Oldenhove, Senior Forest Policy Officer at WWF’s European Policy Office, said: “MEPs want far-reaching, ambitious legislation to tackle the EU’s deforestation and nature destruction footprint. We congratulate Parliament for adopting MEP Delara Burkhardt’s report - this sends a clear signal to the European Commission and lays strong foundations for discussions next year.”

The adoption of this report paves the way for concrete discussions in 2021 on the flesh and bones of this law which, for WWF, must apply to a whole range of commodities, ensure the protection of human rights, and address the EU’s impact not only on forests, but also other ecosystems (such as savannahs, grasslands and wetlands). 

“This is just the start of the race against the clock to save the world’s forests and nature.Together with 130+ environmental groups, we are in it for the long run to make a new law reality. Let’s get deforestation off our plates for good!”, concluded Anke Schulmeister-Oldenhove

The Commission is currently running  a public consultation on tackling the EU’s deforestation footprint. In just a few weeks, more than 320,000 people have already participated in the #Together4Forests campaign to call for a strong new law on deforestation. The public consultation is due to close on 10 December.

Notes to the editor:

The report, drafted by MEP Delara Burkhardt, calls for a law to exclude deforestation, ecosystem destruction and human rights violations from companies' supply chains. It supports a level market playing field by setting the same rules for all companies, including the financial sector, whilst also recognising the need  to support small and medium enterprises. Such a law would apply to commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef, leather, thereby reassuring consumers that they have not unknowingly brought into the destruction of nature through their weekly shop. The report also has a strong focus on respecting the human rights, livelihood and culture of those that live in and from the forest.

Globally, the EU is responsible for over 10% of forest destruction, driven by its consumption of commodities like meat, dairy, soy for animal feed, palm oil, coffee and cacao. Since 2015, 10 million hectares (larger than the size of Portugal) of forests worldwide have been lost to deforestation each year [1]. 



Sophie Bauer
Senior Communications Officer, Deforestation
+32 471 05 25 11

Anke Schulmeister - Oldenhove
Senior Forest Policy Officer
+32 485 84 31 44
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