The European Union (EU) reached an agreement to ban the import of products, including coffee, cocoa and soy, in cases where they are considered to contribute to deforestation.
According to the European Commission, these products were chosen based on an exhaustive impact assessment identifying them as the main driver of deforestation due to agricultural expansion.
The law will require companies to produce a due diligence statement showing that their supply chains are not contributing to forest destruction before selling goods to the EU, or they could face hefty fines.
"Through this agreement on the eve of the crucial world conference for the protection of biodiversity in Montreal (COP15), the EU is sending a strong signal to the rest of the world that it is determined to tackle the global deforestation that contributes massively to the climate crisis and the loss of our natural environment," says Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.
"To be successful, we will build efficient and close cooperation with consuming and producing countries to ensure a smooth process."
According to the European Commission, since the EU is a large economy and consumer of these goods, this step will help to halt a significant part of global deforestation and forest degradation, in turn reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the loss of biodiversity. This important agreement comes just before the start of the Conference on Biodiversity (COP15), which is set to define nature protection goals for decades to come.
"Today's political agreement on the EU's deforestation law marks an important turning point in the global fight against deforestation. As we make the green transition in the European Union, we also want to ensure that our value chains also become more sustainable. Combating deforestation is an urgent task for this generation, and a great legacy to leave for the next", says Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal.