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Tackling Deforestation is Balance of Local and Global


New UK legislation reignites wider concerns about the ability of developed countries to solve the problem of climate change without punishing the poor.

The UK government’s package of measures in response to recommendations from an international panel of business and environmental leaders contains a proposal for new, mandatory due diligence legislation that would prohibit large companies from importing commodities grown on illegally converted forest land.

It is the cornerstone of national efforts to tackle climate change and is in many ways genuinely world-leading. Launching the response, ministers for the environment and for climate change wrote: ‘We want to ensure that farmers who are working hard to do the right thing are rewarded with access to growing markets.’

But while such measures may tackle the carbon emissions from deforestation, they may also have unintended consequences for some of the poorest people in the developing nations where these forest commodities are produced.

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