Report shows EU imports more goods linked to deforestation than any other region | WWF

Report shows EU imports more goods linked to deforestation than any other region

Posted on
21 August 2013
Disturbing new evidence has just been published by the European Commission showing that despite the EU’s commitments to reducing gross tropical deforestation by 50% by 2020, the EU imports far more goods that are associated with tropical deforestation (crops and livestock) than expected.

Between 1990 and 2008 Europe imported and consumed about 9 million hectares of newly deforested land (an area roughly 3 times the size of Belgium). These figures are however a very conservative estimate and could be much higher in reality as the increasing demand for biomass over the last years is not reflected in the study.

The EU lies well ahead of other industrialized regions: Eastern Asia, including Japan and China imported 4.5 Million ha and North America 1.9 million ha during the same period.

The study “The impact of EU consumption on deforestation” shows that, while the majority of crops and livestock products that can be linked to tropical deforestation are consumed at local or regional level, almost 36% of those traded internationally go to the EU. Increases in consumption of oil crops such as soy, palm oil and related products as well as meat consumption are all major drivers of deforestation in tropical areas.

A checkout conveyor belt containg many typical products at a supermnarket in the UK. Cakes, biscuits, chocolate, confectionery, meat, frozen fish, spreads, cereals, sweets, cosmetics, crisps, snacks, cleaning and hygene products amongst the items - Many products contain a surprising amount of Palm Oil.
© WWF / Richard Stonehouse