EU agrees deal to ban products which fuel deforestation

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. deforestation / di fɔr əˈsteɪ ʃən / (n.) – the act or result of cutting down all the trees in a forest

    Many wild animals are losing their homes because of deforestation.

  2. degradation / dɛg rəˈdeɪ ʃən / (n.) – the process in which the quality of something is damaged or destroyed

    Environmental degradation has harmful effects, including pollution.

  3. close (one’s) doors / kloʊz dɔːz / (idiom) – to not allow someone to enter

    Because of the pandemic, the country closed its doors to tourists.

  4. radical / ˈræd ɪ kəl / (adj.) – very new and different from what is traditional

    The trainer introduced radical teaching strategies that will make learning more interesting.

  5. halt / hɔlt / (v.) – to stop

    Businesses halted operations because of the strong typhoon.


Read the text below.

European Union lawmakers and governments reached a deal that would ban the import of products which contribute to deforestation around the world.

The preliminary agreement, which still needs to be formally adopted by the EU parliament, requires companies to verify that the goods they sell in the EU have not led to deforestation and forest degradation anywhere in the world as of 2021.

Companies need to show that the goods they import comply with rules in the country of origin, including on human rights and the protection of indigenous people.

Forests around the world are increasingly under threat from clearance for timber and agriculture, including soybean and palm oil. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 420 million hectares (1.6 million square miles) of forest – an area larger than the EU – were destroyed between 1990 and 2020.

Pascal Canfin, who chairs the European Parliament’s environment committee, said the agreement by the 27-nation bloc marks a “world first.”

“Europe will close its doors to the everyday products that have the highest impact on deforestation in the world if their importers are not able to demonstrate, with supporting documents, that they do not come from deforested areas,” he said. “It’s the coffee we drink in the morning, the chocolate we eat, the charcoal we use in our barbecues, the paper in our books. It’s radical, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

More than 100 countries pledged in 2021 to halt and reverse global deforestation by 2030, as part of efforts to combat climate change. Forests are an important natural means of removing greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, since plants absorb carbon dioxide when they grow.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Europe will close its doors to the everyday products that have the highest impact on deforestation, including coffee, chocolate, charcoal, and paper. What do you think of this decision (ex. good, bad)? Would you like your country to follow suit? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think the citizens of the EU can completely stop consuming products from companies that contribute to deforestation? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • How do you think the ban will affect many businesses (ex. lower sales, higher material cost)? Discuss.
  • If you had a business affected by this policy, what would you do (ex. look for alternative materials for your product)? Discuss.