the European Parliament adopts an ambitious position

We want this legislation to become a global model. This is the ambition displayed by Christophe Hansen, rapporteur for the draft regulation on imported deforestation, after the vote of the European Parliament in plenary session, this Tuesday, September 13, 2022. The latter was adopted with 453 votes for, 57 against and 123 abstentions. its position on the proposal that the European Commission presented in November 2021.

This legislation will require companies to ensure, through a due diligence system, that products sold in the European Union do not come from deforested or degraded land, regardless of their location in the world. Companies may use various means of control: satellite surveillance, field audits, supplier control, etc. Based on a transparent assessment, the Commission will classify the countries (or part of the countries) according to the level of risk (low, standard, high) six months after the entry into force of this regulation. Products from low-risk countries will be subject to fewer obligations Parliament explains.

MEPs voted for an extension of the scope of the text, in accordance with the position adopted in the commission last July. In addition to the six basic products (meat, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans and wood), the Parliament wants to add pork, sheep, goats, poultry, corn, rubber, charcoal and printed paper products. To assess deforestation, he thought to take the date of December 31, 2019 as a reference, while the Commission proposed that of December 31, 2020. The position voted by the deputies also thought to includes financial institutions. This is a major advance, because insurance and investments provided by finance are essential for any economic activity that can lead to deforestation. , welcomes, on Twitter, Pascal Canfin, president of the environment commission. Another advance from the Parliament: the text foresees the possibility of extending the legislation to ecosystems other than the forest, such as the savannas, which would allow the Brazilian Cerrado to be included. It is also expected to take into account the respect of the rights of indigenous peoples.

After this vote, Parliament is ready to start negotiations with the Council, which adopted its own position on June 28. If we find the right balance between ambition, applicability and compatibility with the WTO, this new instrument has the potential to pave the way for a “zero deforestation” supply chain. , welcomes Christophe Hansen. WWF France greets a pioneering and ambitious text against deforestation, although he regrets the non-inclusion of pastures in the system. MEPs send a clear signal to the European Council that it had weakened the text of last June. Heads of State and Government listen to his message now! urges Pierre Cannet, director of the NGO’s defense.

Article published on September 13, 2022

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