More than 50 celebrities including Barbra Streisand, Coldplay, Jason Momoa and Sting are among a number of stars urging EU leaders to adopt a law to tackle global deforestation.
Together with ClientEarth, the musicians, actors, artists, directors, and activists have signed an open letter calling on EU lawmakers to seize the opportunity presented by the deforestation-free products law to set the world on a path to a deforestation-free future.
The legislation will require companies to pinpoint where their products originate and ensure that they are not linked to the destruction of nature if they want to sell them in the EU. It will apply to products that are at high risk of deforestation, including cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soy, and wood.
Actors Bill Pullman, Dame Emma Thompson, Jane Fonda, Lisa Bonet, Matteo Simoni, Malin Akerman and Wagner Moura are among the signatories of the letter, as well as music legends Brian Eno, Bryan Adams and Robyn, and activists Txai Surui, Neidinha Bandeira, and Prigi Arisandi.
The statement says: “We stand with those calling for a strong new law that guarantees deforestation, forest degradation and human rights abuses do not have a place in our supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, and communities.
“We don’t accept the brutal violations of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, who fight with their lives to protect precious forests, for the sake of more cattle ranches or monoculture plantations.
“We need all EU leaders to come together and adopt a strong and ambitious law that protects both forests and the Indigenous and local communities fighting to defend them.” The European Parliament voted in resounding favour of an ambitious law in September. It is now negotiating the final text with the European Council and European Commission, with a final version expected before the end of this year.
“This law matters deeply to all of us. Forests are crucial for the planet and one of our best solutions to climate change, and Indigenous Peoples are their best protectors. Nothing short of a bold and ambitious new EU law will help us in the race to avoid irreversible climate change and safeguard irreplaceable biodiversity.”
Recent polling shows more than 80 per cent of Europeans support the deforestation-free law and for lawmakers to strengthen critical parts of the bill currently up for debate.
Provisions to be debated include requiring companies to stop selling products that destroy critical ecosystems, cause forest degradation, or violate the land rights of indigenous peoples, and obligations on EU member states to consistently check whether companies follow the rules.