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Climate warning

UK fails to halt deforestation-linked imports despite pledges

NGOs Global Witness and Trase have exposed a failure by the UK government to stop the import of beef, soy, and palm oil connected to deforestation, despite earlier promises to do so. This revelation comes as a blow to environmental efforts, especially considering the government's pledge at the COP26 climate conference in 2021.ο»Ώ
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Criticism is primarily directed at the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra), which is accused of not implementing measures to prevent the import of goods from regions with high deforestation rates. Although the Environment Act of 2021 was meant to ban commodities produced on illegally deforested land abroad, it remains inactive because Defra has not yet published the list of covered commodities.
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"There has been virtually no progress since the law passed and not a single tropical tree has yet been saved". Former environment minister Zac Goldsmith expressed his disappointment, noting that there has been no substantial progress since the law's passage. The investigation by Global Witness and Trase revealed that the UK is still importing seven commodities associated with deforestation, including palm oil, soy, and cattle products.
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Between November 2021 and July 2023, roughly 20,400 hectares of deforestation have been linked to UK imports, with palm oil accounting for 8,800 hectares, soy for 3,470 hectares, and cattle products for 2,950 hectares. Campaigners also highlighted the UK's weaker stance compared to the EU, whose ban covers both deforestation and forest degradation, while the UK's ban focuses solely on illegal deforestation.
β€œThe government must listen to UK retailers and fully align with the EU's deforestation regulation, which covers all forest-risk commodities. It is outrageous that Defra is failing to press the green light on simple regulations needed to stop the UK importation of forest destruction. If the UK wants to be seen as climate leader, it must act now", said Veronica Oakeshott, head of the forest campaign at Global Witness.
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22 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • Kevin

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    35 w

    The UK should live up to their climate goals and promises

    • Esther Wanjiku

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      35 w

      The UK should pledge to honour all climate effort promises they make

      2
      • George Kariuki

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        35 w

        The UK government has a moral obligation to act now to protect these precious ecosystems.

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        • Gorffly mokua

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          35 w

          Deforestation should be an issue of the past!! This is disgusting!!

          2
          • mercy nduta

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            35 w

            Deforestation should highly be banned.

            3
            • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

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              35 w

              The UK's failure to halt deforestation-linked imports is disappointing, especially after pledges made at COP26. The inaction regarding commodities connected to deforestation, despite having a law in place, is a setback for environmental efforts. It's crucial that the UK government takes swift action to implement the necessary regulations and aligns with the EU's approach to address deforestation comprehensively. We must prioritize the preservation of forests and combat climate change effectively. #ClimateAction 🌳🌍

              2
              • Rotich Kim

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                35 w

                Uk should have policies in place to ensure that there is no deforestation and our environment should be embrace and keep safe

                6
                • Joseph Githinji

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                  35 w

                  Its sad how politicians give promises they cannot honour. The UK government must take responsibility and change this disappointing trend.

                  4
                • Jane Wangui

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                  35 w

                  From the picture the land is so bare,ugly even, Why won't they nurture Forests?? It has so many advantages like attracting rainfall etc.It is sad when UK destroys what is already alive and thriving.

                  3
                  • Munene Mugambi

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                    35 w

                    The UK has been in shambles in matters climate. That's what leadership that doesn't care does to you

                    3
                    • Grace Njeri

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                      35 w

                      They should firmly ban any sale of products related to deforestation and instead fasten the urgency of afforestation.

                      12
                      • Tabitha Kimani

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                        35 w

                        My heart bleeds when I see/hear such destruction to nature from those we expect to conserve it.

                        14
                        • Elizabeth Gathigia

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                          35 w

                          Very disappointing, deforestation is an enemy of the planet

                          3
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