Government must not to leave finance out of deforestation laws

Over twenty organisations have sent an open letter to the Government calling for the finance industry not to be left out of a proposed new law to tackle the UK’s contribution to global deforestation.

The letter coincides with the end of the government’s five-week consultation on the new legislation, which aims to address deforestation in the supply chains of products such as beef, palm oil and soy that are imported into the UK. The letter was coordinated by Global Witness and BankTrack, and its signatories include Greenpeace UK, Global Canopy, Fern, Share Action, First Peoples Worldwide and Tuk Indonesia.

The letter points to data which highlights the significant role UK banks play in deforestation around the world. Global Witness’ 2019 Money to Burn report found that UK-based financial institutions have been the single biggest source of international finance for six of the most harmful agribusiness companies involved in deforestation in the climate-critical forests of Brazil, the Congo Basin and Papua New Guinea, providing a staggering £5bn over the last six years. This includes major banks like HSBC, Barclays and Standard Chartered. It also cites the Forests & Finance dataset which shows that a number of major UK banks have also funnelled around $9.5bn into forest-risk commodity companies between 2013 and 2020.

The open letter’s recommendations are in line with the government’s own Global Resource Initiative taskforce report, which highlighted that any mandatory due diligence measures on deforestation should cover finance.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories