Stolen Goods: The EU’s complicity in illegal tropical deforestation
Previous studies commissioned by the EU have shown that the EU has been leading the world in imports of ‘embodied deforestation’ in the form of agricultural and timber products. This study goes a step further, by showing that the EU is also one of the largest importers of products resulting from illegal deforestation. The study estimates that in 2012, the EU imported EUR 6 billion of soy, beef, leather and palm oil which were grown or reared on land illegally cleared of forests in the tropics – almost a quarter of the total world trade. The Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Italy and France are among the largest consumers of these illegally sourced deforestation commodities, being collectively responsible for two-thirds of EU purchasing by value and three-quarters in terms of the areas of forest destroyed.