Ban Finance from Deforestation-linked Trading – UK MPs 

The UK House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has urged the government to prohibit financial sector businesses from trading or using commodities linked to deforestation. It is one of the main recommendations in an EAC report warning that the intensity of UK consumption on the world’s forests – its footprint per tonne of product consumed – is higher than that of China. While the UK government, under legislative provisions in the Environment Act, has pledged that forest-based commodities will need to be certified as ‘sustainable’ if they are to be sold into UK markets, the EAC say no timeline for this has been announced. The EAC has also criticised the phased approach to the regime, with the government announcing at COP28 that only four commodities – cattle products (other than dairy), cocoa, palm oil and soil – will initially be in scope. Philip Dunne MP, chair of the EAC, said: “UK consumption is having an unsustainable impact on the planet at the current rate. UK markets must not be flooded with products that threaten the world’s forests, the people whose livelihoods rely on them and the precious ecosystems that call them home. Yet despite the recent commitment before and at COP28 to invest more in reforestation measures and The Amazon Fund to help halt the speed of global deforestation, the UK needs to take tangible steps to turn the dial at home.” 

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