Public opinion may be splintered across the political spectrum on many issues, but stopping deforestation is something we all agree on. A poll carried out in April 2019, by YouGov and commissioned by Environmental Investigation Agency, Fern, Greenpeace and WWF demonstrated that, no matter which country or whom you ask – men or women; old, young or middle aged – European adults overwhelmingly care about forests and want legislation to protect them.
Ninety-one per cent of those polled across 25 EU countries said they cared deeply about forests and agreed that deforestation is harmful for people and wildlife. The majority of EU citizens also think that neither their national governments (66 per cent) nor the EU (61 per cent) are doing enough to tackle global deforestation.
Importantly, 87 per cent indicated that new laws are needed to ensure the products sold in European Union countries do not contribute to global deforestation.
These results were published as the European Commission is expected to unveil plans to step up EU action against deforestation. It remains unclear whether any new regulation will be proposed.
European citizens, the European Parliament, governments and NGOs have all called for regulatory measures to ensure that products placed on the EU market do not cause deforestation or violate human rights.
The EU has made an international pledge to halt global deforestation by 2020, but remains one of the largest markets for deforestation-driving agricultural commodities, such as beef, palm oil, soy and cocoa.
The survey is available here, including results from all Member States (except Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta).
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