The EU has been urged to prohibit all imports associated with deforestation.

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The letter from the 34 organisations comes as EU environment ministers prepare to meet in Brussels on Thursday to discuss a proposal to ban products that contribute to deforestation, which would impose import controls on beef, soy, palm oil, cocoa, and coffee.

Companies selling into the EU will have to prove that their products are not linked to deforestation or face fines of up to 4% of their annual EU turnover.

According to the European Commission's impact assessment, the new law would protect at least 71,920 hectares (278 square miles) of forest each year, or roughly 100,000 football fields.

The commission also stated that it would reduce annual global carbon emissions by 31.9 million metric tonnes per year, which is roughly the same as Denmark's carbon emissions in 2021, according to World Bank data.

The agreement has yet to be ratified by the European Council (where member states agree on policy) and the European Parliament.

Included commodities are:

  • Soy
  • Palm Oil (and derivatives)
  • Coffee
  • Beef
  • Wood
  • Cocoa
  • Some derived products (leather, chocolate, furniture)
  • Rubber
  • Charcoal

 

The law will go into effect at the end of December 2022, with smaller businesses required to comply by January 2024 and medium and larger businesses by June 2023.

Green corridors are routes that connect various ports and enable zero-emission shipping. These routes are specifically designed for ships that use low-carbon fuels.

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