Climate Crisis and the Environment

UK law change to eradicate illegal deforestation

Jodie Clare

Deforestation accounts for roughly 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest have been protesting for years against deforestation. Now, the UK Government is stepping up and enforcing a new law which will prevent forests from being converted illegally into agricultural land.

The new law proposal would result in locals of areas such as the Amazon rainforest having more involvement in deforestation plans. For example, it will be illegal for larger businesses to use ‘forest risk’ commodities that were produced in a way that ignored local laws.

The root issue of deforestation will never be solved until demand for meat and dairy is reduced

WWF estimates that 27% of the Amazon biome will be without trees by 2030 if the current rate of deforestation continues. However, 34 million people live in the Amazon and depend on its resources. Today it is more important than ever that deforestation laws for UK businesses are adapted to create a more sustainable future for the environment and local people. The new laws will prevent larger businesses operating in the UK from using land-grown products that were deforested illegally.

The new proposed law will run for six weeks. The final Global Resource Initiative recommendations were submitted in March 2020. These recommendations included that the Government should introduce a compulsory due diligence requirement. However, Greenpeace has labelled the government’s proposals as “seriously flawed,” as the root issue of deforestation will never be solved until demand for meat and dairy is reduced. The proposals could have negative economic impacts on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Jodie Clare

Featured image by Wagner T. Cassimiro from Flickr. Image licence found here. No changes made to this image.

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