It was a pleasure to host and speak at a Parliamentary event on deforestation this week, and to meet with groups such as WWF and Global Witness, who are part of the NGO Forest Coalition.
Deforestation remains one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. The destruction of the rainforests – which are natural carbon sinks and often described as “the world’s lungs” – not only has a huge carbon impact, but has a devastating effect on biodiversity too.
I’ve been pressing for Government action on deforestation in Brazil in particular, which recently hit its highest annual level in a decade, with 10,476 square kilometres of rainforest lost between August 2020 and July 2021.
The Government has an opportunity to act on this through its trade negotiations, and also by strengthening measures in the Environment Bill, which will be back in the Lords next week. The current proposals are simply too weak, in that they only address illegal deforestation. We should be stamping out links to state-sanctioned deforestation in our supply chains too.