The European Parliament, meeting in plenary session in Strasbourg, took a crucial step today with the adoption of two texts essential to the achievement of the objectives of the Green Deal for the climate, which Renew Europe has been very committed since the beginning of the legislature: the EU forest strategy and the regulation on deforestation. Ambition and pragmatism guided the two Renew MEPs involved in these files, Ulrike Müller, parliamentary rapporteur for the forestry strategy, and Nicolae Ştefănuță, shadow rapporteur for the regulation on deforestation.
In the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), Mrs Müller endeavored to develop the Commission's proposal in greater detail so that the European Commission's aim of making European forests contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions is adapted to the socio-economic realities on the ground. Its report thus considers that the adaptation and resilience of forest ecosystems must be based on decentralized management that takes into account the diversity of natural conditions, property systems and forms of forest governance in the Member States.
Ulrike MÜLLER (Freie Wähler, Germany), parliamentary rapporteur in AGRI, said:
"Our forests are facing more challenges and expectations than ever – not only due to climate change. We need the new EU forest strategy to achieve policy coherence on all levels to enable forests and foresters to meet these challenges and expectations. To deliver, the strategy must build on the principles of multi-functionality, sustainable forest management, owners and foresters as key pillars of implementation, and on a bottom-up approach to reflect the local uniqueness of all forests."
In the Parliamentary Environment Committee (ENVI), Mr Ştefănuță worked to minimize the risk of global deforestation and forest degradation associated with products placed on the EU market as well as export from the EU of products associated with deforestation and forest degradation, by imposing on operators and traders a duty of due diligence throughout the supply chain. The stakes are high, since European consumption is responsible for 17% of tropical deforestation linked to internationally traded commodities, such as meat, palm oil, soy, coffee and cocoa.
Nicolae ŞTEFĂNUȚĂ (USR+, Romania), shadow rapporteur for Renew Europe in ENVI, underlined:
“The forest, the air, nature do not stop at the border. They influence the whole world. I am satisfied that the European Parliament backed a strong mandate for a legislation that not only reduces the EU- driven deforestation and degradation, but also increases pressure on the international community to follow this example and make products and commodities deforestation -free. I am happy that this will bring more transparency and will establish clear rules for buying and selling of commodities that are at a high risk of leading to deforestation.”