Why is reducing EU consumption important for the planet?

We won’t end deforestation unless we reduce our consumption of the commodities that fuel it. This means cutting down on meat and dairy - the world’s biggest drivers of deforestation. It means using less paper packaging - spiralling demand results in roughly three billion trees being cut down every year. And it means reducing the dangerous amounts of wood that we are harvesting to produce energy. 

What is the solution?

Reducing our carbon footprint starts with consuming less:

Why we should reduce meat consumption

Since 1950 EU meat consumption has doubled, leading to more intensive livestock farming, and a rise in meat imports from countries where tropical forests are razed to make way for cattle ranching and soya plantations. Soya is imported to the EU in massive quantities and used as livestock feed on factory farms. 

By eating less meat and encouraging EU self-sufficiency and food security, we can save the remaining global forests and reduce our carbon footprint.

Why should we reduce EU paper consumption?

The growth of online shopping and the shift away from disposable plastic food containers has led to a surge in paper packaging. Providing the raw material for this unsustainable demand means destroying healthy forests and replacing them with the industrial monocultural tree plantations that are multiplying around the world.

By choosing reusable packaging and plates over food wrapped in plastic or paper or favouring more sustainable in person shopping – which helps local businesses and increases human connections – we can save forests from the greedy paper industry’s grasp.

Why should we reduce energy consumption?

Historically, wood has been used to heat homes, but forests are being logged and burned to create electricity too. 

Since the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED) was adopted in 2009, it has created an addiction to burning wood for energy among European nations. The market incentives for burning biomass that are embedded into the RED have spelled disaster for Europe’s ancient forests, harmed the climate and biodiversity, and lessened peoples’ health. 

Worst, this forest-burning disease is spreading around the world.

Reducing our energy consumption, shouldn’t be about citizens’ turning their radiators off during the winter. It should be about governments shifting subsidies towards insulation and real renewable energy. In time this will save energy and money as well as forests.

Our Campaign Issues related to reducing EU consumption

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