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Parliamentary questions
PDF 45kWORD 25k
4 September 2013
Question for written answer E-009866-13
to the Commission
Rule 117
Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE) , Gaston Franco (PPE) , Jo Leinen (S&D) , Margrete Auken (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  Deforestation and loss of biodiversity
 Answer in writing 

According to an independent report prepared for the Commission, the EU leads the industrialised world in driving global deforestation(1). European consumption of goods led to a loss of forest land of at least 9 million hectares between 1990 and 2008. Forests in Latin America, South-East Asia and Africa are suffering the greatest impact. Major industrialised economies, including China, were responsible for about one third of all deforestation that occurred globally in the same period. Europe’s ever-increasing demand for meat, dairy products, biomass and biofuels for energy, as well as other products that require the exhaustion of large areas of land, has put growing pressure on forest ecosystems around the world.

In 2008, EU environment ministers pledged to pursue the goal of halting global forest loss by 2030 and at least halving tropical deforestation by 2020, compared with 2008 levels(2). Upon formal agreement, the 7th Environment Action Programme will call on the EU to consider comprehensive plans to tackle deforestation and forest degradation on a global scale.

What are the Commission’s plans to make available the findings of the report on the EU’s consumption impact on deforestation in the coming months?

Will the Commission consider the development of an ambitious EU action plan on deforestation and forest degradation? If so, by when does it expect this development to be completed? Has it established a timeframe, objectives, activities and resources to this end? If so, can it inform Parliament of the details?

Does the Commission agree that any successful plan needs to provide for the implementation of policies that eliminate commodities and products linked to deforestation and forest degradation from the EU market, while at the same time supporting developing countries to tackle deforestation and forest degradation in their own territories?

(1)See ‘The impact of EU consumption on deforestation’ available at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/impact_deforestation.htm
(2)Commission Communication (COM(2008)0645/3) and Council conclusions (Brussels, 4 December 2008), available at http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/envir/104508.pdf

 OJ C 179, 12/06/2014
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