Moves to sabotage EU deforestation law would be “catastrophic” for climate change

Sydney Jones

Press Secretary

[email protected]

Carole Mitchell

Sr. Director Communications

[email protected]

An attempt by 20 EU member states to sabotage the EU’s flagship zero-deforestation law designed to protect global forests from agricultural expansion would have catastrophic knock-on effects for climate change and nature loss, according to Mighty Earth.

Agriculture Ministries of twenty EU member states, led by Austria, yesterday urged the European Commission to delay and weaken the implementation of the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). The law will require companies selling goods in the EU derived from cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, pulp and paper, rubber and soy to prove that these products have not originated from land deforested after December 31, 2020.

The EUDR was officially signed into law in June 2023, and was the culmination of years of negotiations between member states, the European Commission, and the European Parliament; as well as consultations with academic experts and key stakeholders from industry and civil society.

But the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture initiative now seeks to quickly unravel this carefully constructed law and water down the blueprint for its implementation, due to begin on January 1, 2025.

Julian Oram, Senior Policy Director at Mighty Earth, said: 

“This is an outrageous attempt to sabotage the implementation of Europe’s groundbreaking law against imported deforestation. EU consumption of commodities like beef, soy, cocoa and palm oil is devastating the Amazon and other key rainforests in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Any delay in enforcement would be catastrophic for climate change and nature loss.”


Notes to Editors:

  • Imports of agricultural imports to Europe are the second largest contributors to global deforestation in the world, after China’s.
  • recent poll showed that an overwhelming majority of Europeans (82%) believe businesses should not sell products that destroy the world’s forests and support (81%) the law to ban products that drive deforestation.
  • There was a groundswell of support for the EUDR with almost 1.2 million citizens calling on the EU to pass a strong regulation to stop imported deforestation.


For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Carole Mitchell, Senior Director of Communications (UK-based)
[email protected]
+44 7917 105000


About Mighty Earth

Mighty Earth is a global advocacy organization working to defend a living planet.  Our goal is to protect half of Earth for Nature and secure a climate that allows life to flourish.  We are obsessed with impact and aspire to be the most effective environmental advocacy organization in the world. Our team has achieved transformative change by persuading leading industries to dramatically reduce deforestation and climate pollution throughout their global supply chains in palm oil, rubber, cocoa, and animal feed, while improving livelihoods for Indigenous and local communities across the tropics.

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