Tropical rainforests are important carbon sinks, capturing and storing extensive amounts of carbon. But they are also carbon sources, releasing almost as much carbon through animal and plant respiration. Climate change and deforestation may lead to increased CO2 emissions from tropical rainforests, therefore threatening this balance.
The European Parliament voted in favour of a Regulation that would restrict imports to “deforestation-free” products for EU bloc countries on a set of commodities that have been identified as key drivers of deforestation.A reduction of 31.9 million metric tons of carbon emissions is achievable with adoption of the law, which sets international precedent in regulating a high-emission supply and demand chain.The outlined definition of deforestation is weak, and the land-type to which the regulations will apply is limited to natural forests. Other ecosystems have not been considered.
Certain commodities (maize and rubberware) are increasing deforestation and need urgent regulation. Indigenous people highly rely on forest ecosystems and their rights need to be protected. Europe is doing well in hydrogen and batteries but still behind in the solar downstream sector.