Position of the European Parliament on the Regulation against Deforestation and Forest Degradation
On 13 September in Strasbourg, the European Parliament adopted a very ambitious position for the upcoming EU regulation on deforestation-free supply chains with 453 votes in favour, 57 against and 123 abstentions.
An article by Leonard Schäfer
After the European Commission already published its proposal for a regulation in November 2021, the general orientation of the Council of Ministers followed in June this year. Now that the European Parliament has taken a position, the trialogue of all three institutions can begin in October. The progressive position of the Parliament gives hope for ambitious legislation.
Above all, the Parliament demands that the scope of the law be extended: First, the Parliament wants the regulation to apply not only to soy, palm oil, beef and leather, cocoa, coffee and wood, but also to natural rubber, maize, charcoal and printed matter, as well as various types of meat. Secondly, the Parliament proposes that the regulation should also oblige financial institutions to ensure that their investments in companies do not lead to deforestation or forest degradation. Thirdly, the Parliament wants the law to protect not only forests but also other forested areas, corresponding to ecosystems such as parts of the Brazilian cerrados.
Furthermore, the parliament wants to strengthen indigenous rights, human rights and land rights, and calls for more support for small farmers by companies.
It is to be hoped that the trialogue will result in an ambitious draft law that can subsequently be confirmed by Parliament and Council and ensure that only deforestation-free agricultural commodities are traded in the EU in the future.