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The European Parliament adopts a law against deforestation

Chocolate, coffee, wood or rubber: to be sold in the European Union, these products must not be from deforestation, according to a text voted by a very large majority on Wednesday in the European Parliament.

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The European Parliament adopts a law against deforestation

Chocolate, coffee, wood or rubber: to be sold in the European Union, these products must not be from deforestation, according to a text voted by a very large majority on Wednesday in the European Parliament. The purpose of this regulation is to combat climate change and preserve biodiversity. The import into the EU of products from livestock, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soya, wood, rubber, charcoal and printed paper will be prohibited if these products are from of deforested land after December 2020.

At the origin of 16% of global deforestation through its imports (mainly soy and palm oil, 2017 figures), the EU is the second destroyer of tropical forests behind China, according to the WWF. It is the "first law in the world that will put an end to imported deforestation" welcomed MEP Pascal Canfin (Renew, liberals) during the debates in the European Parliament on Monday evening. "All the opinion studies show that Europeans do not want to contribute to deforestation but they had no possibility of knowing, when they have a cup of coffee in the morning or a cup of chocolate that in fact they are complicit in imported deforestation,” he said.

Greenpeace has nuanced the scope of the text by saying that "this is only a first step". For the NGO, this regulation has "loopholes", for example by excluding ecosystems such as the savannah and by failing to target European banks which finance projects that destroy forests. MEP Marie Toussaint (Greens) judged in the hemicycle on Monday that it was a “huge step forward for the world's forests, the climate, biodiversity but also human rights and the regulation of 'an economy gone mad'.

However, she considered it "essential that this text be extended in order to have an impact on fragile ecosystems such as mangroves, to include other products such as corn or to integrate the financial actors who finance many projects leading to deforestation". . During the debates, the rapporteur Christophe Hansen (EPP, right), admitted that the text was "not perfect", explaining that this was the reason why three revisions were planned: after 1 year, 2 years and 5 years . “Perfection will be for tomorrow,” he said.

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