EU Resists Calls to Delay Deforestation Law, Letter Shows

The European Union (EU) has resisted calls from some industries and countries to delay its flagship policy to fight deforestation. The deforestation law will require companies selling soy, beef, coffee, palm oil, and other products in the 27-nation bloc to prove their supply chains do not contribute to the destruction of forests from Dec. 30. EU companies will be banned from exporting products cultivated on deforested land. The U.S. government and industry groups, including the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), want the policy delayed, citing complaints that the EU’s systems for managing the ban are not yet finished. European Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius acknowledged these concerns but gave no indication that Brussels was considering a delay. Work on an online system to let companies submit their due diligence statements is underway. The policy has split EU lawmakers and countries, with some supporting a delay even after it was approved last year with broad majority support. Denmark’s Environment Minister Magnus Heunicke has written to the European Commission urging it not to postpone the world-first environmental policy, although he urged Brussels to quickly finish the technical systems needed to launch it.

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