The UK government is planning a new law to ban larger businesses operating in the UK from using products grown on land that was deforested illegally.
These companies would be required to carry out due diligence on their supply chains by publishing information to show where key commodities (cocoa, rubber, soy and palm oil) came from and that they were produced in line with local laws protecting forests and other natural ecosystems.
Those who do not comply will be facing fines, though amounts have not been set yet.
The consultation will run for six weeks and seek views from UK and international stakeholders, and will take into consideration potential impacts on businesses and other interests.
Westminster is hoping to tackle climate change by protecting rainforests, since deforestation accounting for 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Of these, 80% are caused by the production of agricultural commodities while most deforestation is illegal.
“This consultation is a welcome first step in the fight to tackle the loss of our planet’s irreplaceable natural wonders such as the #Amazon and in the pursuit of supply chains free from products that contribute to deforestation.”#forests @GreenpeaceUK https://t.co/CQ6TF14WGq
— Greenpeace (@Greenpeace) August 25, 2020
“There is a hugely important connection between the products we buy and their wider environmental footprint, which is why the government is consulting today on new measures that would make it illegal for businesses in the UK to use commodities that are not grown in accordance with local laws,” said International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith.