Parliament secures prohibition of illegal timber in the EU market in compromise agreement with Council
Today the EP negotiators have agreed to a compromise in the second reading with the Council on the illegal timber regulation. Upon taking up her mandate in the UK Parliament, Caroline Lucas was succeeded by Satu Hassi as the rapporteur for the regulation. Satu Hassi commented on the result:
“I am delighted that the Parliament was able to secure fundamental improvements to the draft regulation on illegally harvested timber. The compromise text agreed with the Council now makes clear that the placing in the EU market of illegally harvested timber or timber products is prohibited, and will be subject to considerable penalties. The regulation requires actors further down the supply chain to ensure traceability and to refrain from measures that could otherwise jeopardise the objectives of the regulation, in order to make sure the prohibition is effective.
“Prohibiting illegally logged timber from the EU market sets an important precedent for taking responsibility for the external impacts of European consumption.
“For years the EU has preached against illegal timber, a major driver of deforestation worldwide, but has hypocritically continued to provide one of the biggest markets for it. Between 20% and 40% of global industrial wood production is estimated to come from illegal sources, and up to 20% finds its way into the EU – with biodiversity and forest-dependent peoples paying the price. With deforestation accounting for nearly a fifth of the global total emissions causing climate change, tackling illegal logging as one of its drivers is an important step in the right direction.
“Although it is hugely disappointing that the Member States could not move closer to the Parliament’s position, it is clear that that there were considerable differences between their various positions. In light of this, I would like to thank the Spanish Presidency for all their efforts to help secure an agreement. I would also like to thank Caroline Lucas, the original rapporteur, for all her innovative and tireless work on this dossier.”