EU Import Responsible For 16% Of Global Deforestation Related To International Trade - WWF

EU Import Responsible for 16% of Global Deforestation Related to International Trade - WWF

The EU imports of soy, palm oil and meat have been responsible for 16 percent of the world's tropical deforestation and degradation of vital ecosystems, second only to China, according to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) "Stepping up: The continuing impact of EU consumption on nature," published on Wednesday

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 14th April, 2021) The EU imports of soy, palm oil and meat have been responsible for 16 percent of the world's tropical deforestation and degradation of vital ecosystems, second only to China, according to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) "Stepping up: The continuing impact of EU consumption on nature," published on Wednesday.

The report is based on data from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the supply chain transparency platform Trase for 2005-2017.

"The EU is the second biggest importer of deforestation after China. In 2017, the EU was responsible for 16% of deforestation associated with international trade, totalling 203,000 hectares and 116 million tonnes of CO2. The EU was surpassed by China (24%) but outranked India (9%), the United States (7%) and Japan (5%)," the report found.

Soy, palm oil and beef were identified as commodities posing the biggest risks to tropical forests and driving destruction of non-forest ecosystems, such as wetlands and savannas. The largest consumers of these goods, responsible for 80 percent of the imports, were eight of the largest EU economies, including Germany, Italy, Spain, and France.

"Across the world, deforestation and ecosystem conversion are fuelling the climate and biodiversity crises, destroying livelihoods and threatening our health. Right now the EU is part of the problem, but with the right legislation we could be part of the solution," Anke Schulmeister-Oldenhove, senior officer at WWF's European Policy Office, said in the statement.

The European Commission has earlier announced its plans to present proposal for new environmental legislation to tackle the EU's footprint on forests and other ecosystems. In the light of the report findings, the WWF has urged European lawmakers to put measures in place to prevent any product that has contributed to the destruction of nature, either 'legally' or illegally, from entering the EU markets.