EU Commission to propose legal framework to combat deforestation, following EU Parliament's legislative report pushing for mandatory due diligence & civil liability
On 22 October 2020, the European Parliament adopted a legislative report with 377 votes to 75 and 243 abstentions calling on the EU Commission to present a EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation. The report (as well as the corresponding EU Parliament resolution) pushes for mandatory due diligence and civil liability for corporations that place commodities or products entailing forest and ecosystem risks on the EU market. It emphasises that the same mandatory due diligence rules should apply to all financial institutions active in the EU that are providing funds to such companies.
In December 2020, over one million people responded to the European Commission's public consultation on deforestation. Civil society organisations representing Indigenous groups, and human rights and environmental defenders, welcomed the Commission's commitment to develop an anti-deforestation law, but expressed worries at the proposal's delays and made recommendations for inclusion of more ambitious regulatory measures.
The draft regulation is expected to be published in December 2021, and it will have to be agreed by MEPs and environment ministers before it becomes law.