Big companies linked to deforestation scandals have promised to put an end to their environmental destruction but have yet to come up with a plan.

A third of the companies most linked to the destruction of tropical rainforests have not set a single policy on deforestation, a report reveals.

Research by Global Canopy has found that 31% of the companies with the greatest influence on tropical deforestation risk through their supply chains do not have a single deforestation commitment for any of the commodities to which they are exposed.

Many of those who have set policies are not monitoring them correctly, meaning deforestation to produce their commodities could still be taking place. Of the 100 companies with a deforestation commitment for every commodity to which they are exposed, only 50% are monitoring their suppliers or sourcing regions in line with their deforestation commitments for every commodity.

Global Canopy’s Forest 500 report states: “We are three years past the 2020 deadline that many organisations set themselves to halt deforestation, and just two years away from the UN’s deadline of 2025 for companies and financial institutions to eliminate commodity-driven deforestation, conversion and the associated human rights abuses. This target date is essential to meeting our global net zero targets and averting catastrophic climate change.”

At Cop26 in 2021, world leaders agreed to remove deforestation from supply chains. Land-clearing by humans accounts for almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, largely deriving from the destruction of the world’s forests for agricultural products such as palm oil, soy and beef.

Financial institutions have a poor record on deforestation, according to the report. Those identified provide US$6.1tn in finance to companies in forest-risk supply chains, but according to the report “only a small proportion of financial institutions most exposed to deforestation are addressing deforestation as a systemic risk”.

Ninety-two (61%) of the financial institutions that are most exposed to deforestation do not have a deforestation policy covering their lending and investments, and only 48 (32%) financial institutions have publicly recognised deforestation as a business risk.

The report has called for companies and financial institutions to recognise deforestation as a risk to their business, and set policies to end the practice in their supply chains. It is also asking governments to regulate better, and include financial institutions in this regulation. Many countries have committed to ending deforestation under Glasgow declaration on forests and land use, the Paris agreement and the Global biodiversity framework. However, most have not yet put policies in place to put this into practice.

Original source: https://www.theguardian.com


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