This year, the Amazon rainforest in Brazil is burning more than ever. The EU is partially to blame for the issue through trade agreements, but a crucial vote on Tuesday may put out the fire.
Twenty thousand two hundred sixty-one fires were reported in just the first eight days of September, a 385 percent increase over the same period in 2021. New legislation to ensure that goods marketed in the EU don’t contribute to deforestation will be voted on by MEPs on Tuesday.
People from Brazil are urging MEPs to support a strong law and not give in to attempts to weaken the text because they do not want their consumption to contribute to deforestation or the destruction of savannahs and grasslands, according to Béatrice Wedeux, the policy officer and deforestation expert at WWF-Belgium.
Burning large areas of forest to create room for agricultural exploitation is a major source of the fires. These green places become even more at risk for flames as a result of forest fires, which increase vulnerability to the impacts of drought.
Along with this, the rule would require businesses to verify that goods marketed in the European Union did not originate from degraded or wooded land; MEPs are anticipated to ask that the scope of goods covered be expanded (it currently targets coffee, chocolate and beef).
They would also have to confirm that these commodities are manufactured in compliance with international human rights legislation and that their production respects the rights of indigenous people as part of the new rule.
According to WWF, a number of EU Member States “drilled so many holes in the idea that what was left looked more like a Swiss cheese” in the early summer of this year.
The organization said, “Members of the European Parliament in the Environment Committee endorsed a more ambitious document that considers the environment, covers more goods, enhances businesses’ restrictions, and better safeguards the rights of indigenous and local peoples.
Furthermore, in the month of June, the proposed regulation found general agreement among Member States’ environment ministers. Meanwhile, NGOs criticized the lack of ambition.