MEP Manuela Ripa (ÖDP) Vote in the EU Parliament on the regulation against deforestation and forest degradation

Ripa: “EU bears great responsibility in global deforestation”

(Strasbourg/13.09.2022) Today, the European Parliament adopted by a large majority the Regulation against deforestation and forest degradation. This means that a legal framework is now in place to ensure that raw materials and products sold in the EU are not linked to deforestation and human rights abuses. Manuela Ripa, Member of the European Parliament for the Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP), notes: “The EU bears a major responsibility in global deforestation, as we import soy, beef, palm oil, coffee, cocoa and other goods from deforested areas. These products, which contribute to destruction of nature and human rights abuses, end up in our supermarkets. It should not be up to consumers to choose responsibly produced products. That is why the regulation adopted today is important.”

The ÖDP politician stresses particularly two important points in the text adopted by the plenum: EU companies will be subject to a due diligence obligation in the future. This means that, on the one hand, they must prove that deforestation and the destruction of nature do not occur within their supply chains. On the other hand, they must prove that human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples are respected during the manufacturing process, as well as the relevant laws and standards of the respective countries.

Particularly under pressure from Ripa’s Greens/EFA political group, the text originally proposed by the EU Commission was significantly improved. Thus, the scope was extended to “other forested land” and it now includes even more raw materials such as rubber and corn. In addition, the provision on financial institutions has made it into the final text. This means that it can now be ensured that no companies that cause deforestation receive financial support. This was uncertain until shortly before the vote.

Therefore, Manuela Ripa sees the regulation adopted today as a major step forward: “According to the Commission’s study, an area of forest the size of Portugal was lost worldwide between 1990 and 2008 because the EU consumed goods grown on deforested land. The text adopted today will not only reduce deforestation caused by the EU. It can also increase pressure on the international community to make its supply chains deforestation-free, thanks to the EU’s exemplary role in climate action.”

The MEP notes that she will continue to work to ensure that only sustainable products that do not harm nature and do not violate human rights enter the EU internal market.