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European Union Proposes Law to Curb Imports Linked with Deforestation

The European Commission proposed a rule on Wednesday to limit the import of goods connected to deforestation by forcing corporations to demonstrate that their worldwide supply chains are not contributing to forest degradation.

Abin Joseph
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European Union Flag

The European Commission proposed a rule on Wednesday to limit the import of goods connected to deforestation by forcing corporations to demonstrate that their worldwide supply chains are not contributing to forest degradation.

The proposed bill establishes required due diligence regulations for importers of particular commodities into the European Union market, including soy, cattle, palm oil, wood, cocoa, and coffee, as well as some derivative items such as leather, chocolate, and furniture. The European Commission proposed a rule on Wednesday to limit the import of goods connected to deforestation by forcing corporations to demonstrate that their worldwide supply chains are not contributing to forest degradation.

The proposed legislation imposes strict due diligence requirements on importers of particular goods into the European Union market:

Soy, beef, palm oil, wood, cocoa, and coffee, as well as certain derivative items such as leather, Furniture and chocolate.

While many European firms have extensive worldwide operations, even in countries where environmental violations are rampant, there is presently no EU-wide obligation that they implement a due diligence procedure.

The new legislation comes after international leaders from Brazil, China, and Malaysia pledged to eliminate deforestation by 2030 during last month's COP26 meeting.

EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said "To succeed in the global fight against the climate and biodiversity crises we must take the responsibility to act at home as well as abroad," The law's public consultation received over 1.2 million replies, making it the second most popular in EU history. Companies will be required to demonstrate that the six commodities were produced in compliance with the laws of the producing nation under the proposed regulation, which must be adopted by EU states and the European Parliament.

They will, however, have to demonstrate that the commodities were not grown on any deforested or degraded ground after December 31, 2020, even if it is allowed to produce there under producing nation law.

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