EU Study to assess its Deforestation Footprint

The EU has recently launched a new study to accurately assess its own Deforestation Footprint. This is to enable the EU to sustainably reduce that Deforestation Footprint.

Reported by FERN, the EU has launched a study to assess its contribution to deforestation and therefore, assess how it can tackle its own deforestation footprint. This study is set to be completed by August 2016.

It has been estimated that between the years of 1990 and 2008, the EU imported some 36% of all deforestation embodied in crops and livestock.
‘The concept of “embodied deforestation” is used for linking deforestation to consumption. It refers to the deforestation embodied (as an externality) in a produced, traded, or consumed product, good, commodity or service. It is the deforestation associated with the production of a good, commodity or service.’ (Source: European Commision) This alarming figure should accompany the knowledge that between the years of 1990 and 2008, 239 million hectares of forests were cleared worldwide (Source: FAO)

The European Commission has informed the consortium that a wide range of policies must be examined which suggest where improvements could be made. The policies to be studied include:

  • Common Commercial Policy
  • Energy and Climate Change
  • Sustainable Production and Consumption
  • EU and International Forest Policies (including the FLEFT Action Plan)
  • Trade and Investment
  • Development and International Cooperation
  • Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Consumer Protection
  • Environment
  • Internal Market

‘Forests have a vital role to play in the fight against global warming. Forests absorb and store carbon in their trees and soil. But if forests are cleared or disturbed, this carbon is released as carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Up to a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation and forest degradation.’ WWF, Deforestation & Climate Change.

You can find out more about the EU Action Plan on Deforestation here FERN