Supply chain disruptions: Are concerns about the EU's new deforestation regulation justified?

Supply chain disruptions: Are concerns about the EU's new deforestation regulation justified?
By Natalia OelsnerMarie Lecoq
Share this article
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

While many view the new EU law on deforestation as a milestone, others have raised questions. In this explainer, we take a look at what's in the law and what the biggest concerns are.

Agriculture accounts for 90% of the world's deforestation. Every two seconds, an area equivalent to the size of a football field is lost.

Deforestation is a global issue primarily linked to the demand and production of goods, such as cocoa and coffee. The European Union is one of the main contributors to this problem.

"The EU is essentially the second-largest importer of deforestation in the world, second only to China, which has a much larger population," says Michael Rice, Value Chains, Trade & Investment Lead at ClientEarth.

The European Commission has therefore introduced a new regulation aimed at restricting products linked to deforestation.

"Protecting the world's remaining forests is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most efficient ways to fight climate change and biodiversity loss," says Rice.

The EU has established a list of products highly associated with deforestation: cocoa, coffee, rubber, palm oil, soy, beef, and wood.

From December 2024, importers and exporters trading with the EU must prove that these goods, or their derived products, do not come from recently deforested areas or cause forest degradation.

"Everyone can agree that we all have a collective interest in protecting and maintaining forests," says Christophe Eberhart, CEO of the sustainable company Ethiquable.

Failure to do so could result in significant fines, confiscation of products or revenues, and product bans from the EU market in the most serious cases.

"This new EU law is really about that: the EU taking responsibility for its impacts on forests all around the world," says Rice.

But while many view this law as a milestone towards creating more sustainable products and business opportunities, others have raised concerns about its efficiency and potential impacts.

Will the new regulation make a real difference? And does it threaten trade?

In this video explainer, we delve into the regulation's details and explore the biggest concerns surrounding it.

Watch it by clicking on the video player above.

Video editor • Christophe Pitiot

Share this article

You might also like