This panel discussion is organized by Conservation International, with the support of Friends of Europe, on European consumption driving imported deforestation. Featuring keynote speaker Christiana Figueres, Distinguished Fellow of Conservation International and Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
15% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by deforestation, and a lot of that deforestation is driven by consumption here in Europe.
The Paris Agreement reached at COP21 commits its signatories to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5º C”. To reach this target, we must ramp-up our efforts in all sectors. One sector is often overlooked: nature. Yet, forests could deliver more than 30% of the required mitigation.
The forests’ mitigation potential is widely ignored. Ongoing large-scale deforestation, forest degradation and conversion to agriculture still contribute to more than 15% of global GHG emissions. The European Union (EU) is the largest importer of deforestation embedded in goods such as palm oil from Indonesia or soy from Brazil. Thus, the EU has a key role to play in reducing global deforestation.
- How can the EU ensure that all imported agricultural products are free of deforestation, forest degradation and human right violations?
- Will the EU create policies and incentives that effectively encourage sustainable practices in producing countries?
- Which corporate and Member State actions can lead the way? Shall voluntary commitments become mandatory to create a level playing field?
IMAGE CREDIT: Conservation International
Program Manager for Sustainable Development at the Netherlands Oils and Fats Industry (MVO); and Chair of the Dutch Task Force on Sustainable Palm Oil
Former UNFCCC Executive Secretary and Distinguished Fellow at Conservation International
Head of Environment and Extra Financial Accountability at BNP Paribas
Hege Karsti Ragnhildstveit
Policy Director at the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI)
Director for Climate Strategy, Governance and Emissions from Non-Trading Sectors at the European Commission Directorate-General for Climate Action
Chief Operating Officer and Chief Spokesperson of Friends of Europe
Artur is Director at the European Commission Directorate-General for Climate Action. His work ranges from international and EU climate strategy to EU domestic legislative initiatives related to households, land transport, waste, agriculture and forestry. Artur has been the Vice-President of the UNFCCC Bureau for two years and Co-Chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, preparing the Paris Agreement. He also has experience in DG Development and DG Environment, where he worked on a wide range of environmental issues, particularly climate change in developing countries.
- By Chris Kremidas Courtney
- Area of Expertise
- Peace, Security & Defence
- European Defence Studies
- By Paul Taylor
- By Eurisa Rukovci