Addressing Global Deforestation

Chelmsford Star has joined Co-ops across the UK in writing to the government, reminding them of their responsibility to hold businesses to account when it comes to practises that affect our planet and its vital ecosystems.

In a letter written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Rt Hon George Eustice MP, Chelmsford Star praised the government’s proposal to introduce a process of due diligence when it comes to corporate practises, specifically in the role of addressing deforestation, but encouraged them to go further.

In the last 60 years, more than half of the planet’s tropical forests have been destroyed due to agricultural expansion. In some areas, 95% of this deforestation has been illegal. Whilst this has enabled expanded food production to feed the growing population, the loss of these vital ecosystems is not necessary in order to do so.

The letter called for the government to take their proposed Environment Bill further to ensure that their new legislation established an effective framework to end deforestation, listing eight ways in which it could do so such as incentivising good behaviour and implementing sector-specific requirements. In its current form, the Co-op movement doesn’t think the Bill does enough to address the root causes of losing these critical ecosystems.

The government has committed to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and if we are to achieve this ambition, and reduce the risk of catastrophic climate change, we need to not only set stricter and more ambitious targets, but we also meet them.