The EU plans to bar food and wood imports from deforested areas, according to a proposal unveiled Wednesday aimed at using its trade power to drive sustainability.
The draft law, which Brussels wants to turn into binding rules for all 27 European Union nations, would require companies show their soy, beef, palm oil, cocoa, coffee and wood products are certified “deforestation-free”.
It follows an international pledge made at the COP26 summit last week to end deforestation by 2030.
“It targets not just illegal deforestation but also deforestation driven by agricultural expansion,” he said.
Under the EU plan, two criteria would have to be met: that the commodities are produced in accordance with the origin country’s laws; and that they were not produced on land deforested or degraded since the beginning of 2021.
Imports from higher-risk countries would be subject to tighter checks.
The European Commission did not say when it hoped to have the new legislation adopted.
The rules could impact countries such as Brazil, where European disquiet at razing of the Amazon rainforest by cattle farmers is holding up implementation of an EU-Mercosur trade deal.
Clearing of the Amazon hit a new record last month, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research.
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