EURONEWS –In a “clampdown” on illegal deforestation, the UK government has introduced a law that will force businesses to check more carefully where their materials are coming from.

Companies will be banned from selling items that use raw materials sourced in a way that breaches local laws to protect forests and other natural environments in the country where they are produced. It has been dubbed a “world first” by Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment.

As the UK gets ready to host UN climate talks, known as COP26, the country hopes these measures will encourage other nations to do more to protect the rainforest.

At the moment it can be difficult to trace the source of products such as soy, beef, palm, and leather. It was recently discovered that a fifth of soy and beef exported from Brazil to the EU came from illegally deforested land.

A consultation by the UK government about the new law received 60,000 responses with 99 percent of people agreeing that legislation needed to be brought in.

The new law calls for companies to increase transparency and do their “due diligence” by checking whether the items they produce are contributing to the illegal destruction of the environment. But it isn’t yet clear exactly how companies will prove their products are not coming from these places.

Polisano has called for companies like Tesco to instead cut down on the kinds of items that fuel deforestation in the Amazon and other crucial forests. “They must reduce the amount of meat and dairy they sell and drop forest destroyers from their supply chain immediately.”

As the host of COP26, there is pressure on the UK to show international leadership on essential climate issues like these. The government says that the new law is just one of a number of ways it plans to tackle deforestation in the future.

“In every conceivable way, we depend on the natural world around us. Rainforests cool the planet, provide clean air and water, and are a haven for some of the most endangered species on Earth – and so protecting them must be a core priority,” says Goldsmith.

“Our new due diligence law is one piece of a much bigger package of measures that we are putting in place to tackle deforestation.”

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