Fern’s submission to the trade policy review highlights the need to eradicate deforestation from its trade flows. If the EU is to achieve its commitment to end deforestation by 2020, fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), meet the Paris Agreement, and deliver the European Green Deal, tackling with deforestation in trade deals should be a strategic priority. It can do it by taking the following measures:
- Introducing a hierarchy principle stipulating that nothing in the Free Trade Agreement may prejudice effective implementation of international environmental, labour, and human rights agreements, including the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity commitments and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- Making market access conditional on deforestation and conflict free criteria in line with international commitments.
- Strengthening civil society participation.
- Introducing a formal complaint mechanism.
More responsible business conduct and transparent, responsible and sustainable supply chains can be achieved in two ways:
- The EU should establish a Due Diligence Regulation that makes it mandatory for EU companies to ensure they are not placing products on the EU market that have driven deforestation, ecosystem degradation or human rights abuses.
- The EU should foster commodity trade partnership agreements with major forest risk commodity producing countries to complement any future Due Diligence Regulation and the various commitments that companies and countries have made to free their supply chains of deforestation and human rights abuses.