EU parliament approves landmark deforestation law

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Parliament on Wednesday approved a landmark deforestation law that bans the import of coffee, beef, soybeans and other commodities into the European Union if they are linked to the destruction of the world’s forests.

The law would require companies selling goods in the EU to provide a due diligence statement and verifiable information proving their goods were not grown on land deforested after 2020, or risk heavy fines, Reuters reported.

The law needs formal approval from EU countries — a process that usually ripples through pre-agreed laws — before it goes into effect. Once this happens, large companies will have 18 months to comply, and smaller companies 24 months.

Companies that do not comply may face fines of up to 4% of the company’s turnover in an EU member state.

More area than the EU was lost to deforestation between 1990 and 2020, with EU consumption accounting for around 10% of the losses, according to the European Parliament website.

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