The European Parliament today formally adopted a compromise negotiated between the Environment Committee, Spanish Presidency and the Commission on the regulation of timber. Commenting on the result, Green MEP Satu Hassi (Finland), who replaced Caroline Lucas as the Parliament's Rapporteur on the law (1), said:
"At last the link between the European market and the forests around the world ravaged by illegal logging has been weakened. For too long the EU has preached against such logging and the resulting massive deforestation while simultaneously providing one of the largest markets for illegal timber. As such, this agreement on the illegally sourced timber represents a major international breakthrough.
Thanks to the European Parliament, the law now contains an explicit prohibition on the placing of illegally logged timber on the EU market. This is augmented by a traceability requirement upon actors further down the supply chain.
Today's vote is also good news for the fight against climate change, as deforestation is responsible for 20% of global CO2 emissions. Also developing countries will profit from the law, as they are currently losing billions of euro in tax revenues due to illegal logging and timber exports.
It is high time that the EU took responsibility for the environmental damage its own consumption causes. This piece of legislation is a positive step and an example of how the size of the EU can be used to deliver solutions to global problems."
Note to editors:
1) Caroline Lucas was elected to the British parliament in May 2010
Satu Hassi's Press Conference can be viewed and downloaded at: