We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

Companies won’t meet 2020 target to end deforestation – report

22 6 4
22.03.2019

MAJOR corporations that have committed to eradicating tropical deforestation from their operations by 2020 are not going to meet their self-imposed deadline, a report says.

The Global Canopy’s “Forest 500” report assesses the 350 most influential companies in forest-risk commodity supply chains and the 150 financial institutions that support them, focusing on four commodities: cattle, palm oil, soy, and timber (including pulp and paper).

With tackling deforestation seen as an important part of the fight against climate change, nearly half of the 500 assessed companies have made commitments to eliminate deforestation from agricultural supply chains by 2020 or earlier, in line with high-profile collective commitments such as the Consumer Goods Forum and the New York Declaration on Forests.

SEE ALSO: Are banks in Asia funding deforestation in Southeast Asia?

But as the deadline nears, none of the companies and financial institutions assessed in 2018 is on track to eliminate commodity-driven deforestation from their supply chains and portfolios by next year, the Global Canopy report says.

“The most powerful companies in forest-risk supply chains do not appear to be implementing the commitments they have set to meet global deforestation targets,” Global Canopy supply chain researcher Sarah Rogerson, the lead author of the report, told Mongabay.

The report, released March 20 for International Forest Day, concluded that the 2020 goal simply couldn’t be met.

“With just one year left to the 2020 deadline, it is clearer than ever that even companies with strong commitments will not be able to assert that their supply chains are deforestation-free by that deadline,” it says.

However, Rogerson says this doesn’t mean companies shouldn’t give up on cutting out deforestation from their operations, noting that “it is crucial that companies raise their ambition and address the stark gap between the promises they have made and activities on the ground.”

“As well as being home to much of our global biodiversity, forests are our best technology for mitigating climate change,” she said. “It looks unlikely that we will stay below the target of 2 degrees [Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit] global temperature rise — achieving that gets even harder without forests.”

Implementation gap

The commodities that the Global Canopy report focuses on are collectively responsible for the majority of tropical forest destruction driven by agricultural expansion around the world today. Agricultural expansion itself is the main driver of global deforestation, accounting for 27 percent of all forest loss, or 50,000 square kilometers (19,300 square miles) per year, primarily in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

In Latin America, row cropping and cattle grazing are responsible for the bulk of deforestation, while in Malaysia and Indonesia the chief culprit is the cultivation of oil........

© Asian Correspondent