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欧洲拟出台法案限制森林砍伐,可能造成普通商品短缺

欧洲拟出台法案限制森林砍伐,可能造成普通商品短缺

Vivienne Walt 2021年11月23日
企业必须证明,它们在欧盟单一市场销售的产品没有导致非法砍伐森林或森林退化的现象发生。

我们在厨房里司空见惯的一些食品,诸如冰激凌、饼干和巧克力酱等可能很快就会变成稀罕之物,这可不仅仅是因为大家的新年计划里有减肥这一项。

欧盟于上周三公布了一份反森林砍伐法草案,将主要针对多类食品、木制家具及巧克力等商品加强管控,并要求企业证明其产品生产与森林砍伐活动无关。

该草案目前还需得到欧盟27国政府的批准,一旦落地,其会对农业巨头和大宗商品交易商产生重大影响。它将主要针对六类农产品加强管控,分别是:牛肉、大豆、棕榈油、咖啡、可可和木材。此外还有一些加工产品,如皮革和家具等。根据该草案,企业必须证明,它们在欧盟单一市场销售的产品没有导致非法砍伐森林或森林退化的现象发生。

欧盟执行机构欧盟委员会估算称,因农作物种植所进行的森林砍伐每年间接导致了3190万吨的二氧化碳排放,是温室气体的重要来源,也是气候变化的主要推手。

“此举彰显了我们的全球责任。作为最大的经济体之一,欧盟的进口是导致非法砍伐森林或森林退化现象发生的很大一部分原因,”欧盟环境专员维吉尼斯·辛克维休斯告诉彭博社。他称新规“史无前例、影响深远且具有里程碑意义”。

前路漫漫

要筛掉欧盟供应链中与森林砍伐有关的产品并非易事。欧盟自己的研究结果表明,其每年进口的价值40亿欧元的棕榈油产品(如多款硬冰淇淋及能多益旗下食品)间接造成了约67661公顷森林被毁。此外,大豆种植致使全球有65428公顷森林遭伐,其也是巴西毁林的重要原因。

森林砍伐争论中多被忽视的小透明产品皮革也是欧盟的关注焦点之一。在巴西亚马逊地区,变森林为牧场的现象非常普遍,其产出的皮革多售给了大众、通用汽车和福特等汽车品牌用于制造汽车座椅。一旦欧洲的新规落地,汽车制造商将需要证明其产品原料并非来源于毁林地区的牧场。

事实上,据纽约全球供应链追踪技术公司SourceMap的数据,至少自2017年以来,各大汽车制造商和鞋类公司一直在默默监测其供应链背后的森林砍伐情况。SourceMap拥有多家相关行业的大型制造商客户。

“这与企业要对其供应链上下游发生的事情负责的理念有关,”SourceMap联合创始人兼首席执行官莱昂纳多·博纳尼周三对《财富》杂志表示。“它牵涉的范围很广,企业不仅要为其供应商负责,还要为其供应商的供应商负责。”

美国曾于2018年通过了一项法律,规定海关人员可以扣押涉嫌“强迫劳动”的进口产品。与该法不同的是,欧盟的反森林砍伐法将要求公司提供涉及森林砍伐的准确信息,但不一定会扣押资产。

在草案出炉的两周前,欧盟官员刚在苏格兰格拉斯哥举行的第26届联合国气候变化大会上发表了讲话,展示了欧盟最新的反森林砍伐成果。欧盟委员会主席乌苏拉·冯·德莱恩当时承诺,在未来五年内欧盟将投入10亿欧元用于保护、恢复和管理全球“地球之肺”(森林)。其中约2.5亿欧元将用于非洲刚果盆地,该地区拥有仅次于亚马逊的世界第二大热带雨林,但为了开辟新的橡胶种植园,当地盗伐现象猖獗。

“重大漏洞”

然而,环保人士认为,欧盟故意给这一法案留了些漏洞,意在安抚主要工业行业。

未被划入管控商品之列、用于制造汽车轮胎等产品的橡胶是其中最大的争议焦点。2020年,欧洲总计生产了约3亿只轮胎,且全球三大轮胎制造商倍耐力、德国大陆轮胎和米其林总部均位于欧洲。

“橡胶未被列入管控商品清单是该法的主要漏洞之一,”绿色和平农业和森林运动负责人西尼·埃拉贾对《财富》杂志表示。“这里面肯定存在一些政治考虑,所以管控商品种类数量极为有限。”

科学家和环保人士指出,受本世纪蓬勃发展的橡胶工业的影响,东南亚已有数十万公顷的森林遭砍伐,并被用于建造橡胶种植园。

环保组织Mighty Earth上月在一份报告中表示:“自2000年以来,橡胶生产的迅速发展已破坏了面积多达数百万公顷的森林和动物栖息地,对其中的生态体系和生物多样性造成了毁灭性打击,并导致数百个土著社群生存艰难。”该组织说,在柬埔寨、印度尼西亚和其他地区,有大批民众因橡胶种植园扩张被侵犯了人权并被驱逐出了居住地。

同样是在上个月,三位瑞典科学家得出结论称,由于数据使用存在缺陷,欧盟将两种高污染商品橡胶和玉米排除在了管控商品之外。他们写道,如果欧盟在通过草案时未做修改(不将橡胶和玉米纳入管控清单),其“可能会使欧盟遏制森林砍伐所做出的努力付诸东流”。

埃拉贾说,该草案还存在其他缺陷,比如说未将猪肉和家禽制品纳入进去,两者在生产过程中均会消耗大量来自毁林地区的动物饲料。它也未能解决全球湿地和草原不断遭到破坏的问题,而这是遏制全球变暖的关键。

她认为,根据新法,农业公司理论上可以选择将作物种植地从毁林地区迁到其他仍会导致同样严重的环境破坏和碳排放现象的地区。“这项法律在保护森林方面做得很好,但大豆种植所破坏的自然植被类型已不只局限于森林,”她说。比如以东南亚湿地和巴西草原为例。随着木材农场数量的与日俱增,数十万公顷的东南亚湿地正逐渐干涸,而巴西草原上的大豆作物种植面积也在日益增加。

“遗憾的是,我们身边满是与毁林有关的产品,”埃拉贾说,“就连冰箱里的食物也是如此。”(财富中文网)

译者:Claire

我们在厨房里司空见惯的一些食品,诸如冰激凌、饼干和巧克力酱等可能很快就会变成稀罕之物,这可不仅仅是因为大家的新年计划里有减肥这一项。

欧盟于上周三公布了一份反森林砍伐法草案,将主要针对多类食品、木制家具及巧克力等商品加强管控,并要求企业证明其产品生产与森林砍伐活动无关。

该草案目前还需得到欧盟27国政府的批准,一旦落地,其会对农业巨头和大宗商品交易商产生重大影响。它将主要针对六类农产品加强管控,分别是:牛肉、大豆、棕榈油、咖啡、可可和木材。此外还有一些加工产品,如皮革和家具等。根据该草案,企业必须证明,它们在欧盟单一市场销售的产品没有导致非法砍伐森林或森林退化的现象发生。

欧盟执行机构欧盟委员会估算称,因农作物种植所进行的森林砍伐每年间接导致了3190万吨的二氧化碳排放,是温室气体的重要来源,也是气候变化的主要推手。

“此举彰显了我们的全球责任。作为最大的经济体之一,欧盟的进口是导致非法砍伐森林或森林退化现象发生的很大一部分原因,”欧盟环境专员维吉尼斯·辛克维休斯告诉彭博社。他称新规“史无前例、影响深远且具有里程碑意义”。

前路漫漫

要筛掉欧盟供应链中与森林砍伐有关的产品并非易事。欧盟自己的研究结果表明,其每年进口的价值40亿欧元的棕榈油产品(如多款硬冰淇淋及能多益旗下食品)间接造成了约67661公顷森林被毁。此外,大豆种植致使全球有65428公顷森林遭伐,其也是巴西毁林的重要原因。

森林砍伐争论中多被忽视的小透明产品皮革也是欧盟的关注焦点之一。在巴西亚马逊地区,变森林为牧场的现象非常普遍,其产出的皮革多售给了大众、通用汽车和福特等汽车品牌用于制造汽车座椅。一旦欧洲的新规落地,汽车制造商将需要证明其产品原料并非来源于毁林地区的牧场。

事实上,据纽约全球供应链追踪技术公司SourceMap的数据,至少自2017年以来,各大汽车制造商和鞋类公司一直在默默监测其供应链背后的森林砍伐情况。SourceMap拥有多家相关行业的大型制造商客户。

“这与企业要对其供应链上下游发生的事情负责的理念有关,”SourceMap联合创始人兼首席执行官莱昂纳多·博纳尼周三对《财富》杂志表示。“它牵涉的范围很广,企业不仅要为其供应商负责,还要为其供应商的供应商负责。”

美国曾于2018年通过了一项法律,规定海关人员可以扣押涉嫌“强迫劳动”的进口产品。与该法不同的是,欧盟的反森林砍伐法将要求公司提供涉及森林砍伐的准确信息,但不一定会扣押资产。

在草案出炉的两周前,欧盟官员刚在苏格兰格拉斯哥举行的第26届联合国气候变化大会上发表了讲话,展示了欧盟最新的反森林砍伐成果。欧盟委员会主席乌苏拉·冯·德莱恩当时承诺,在未来五年内欧盟将投入10亿欧元用于保护、恢复和管理全球“地球之肺”(森林)。其中约2.5亿欧元将用于非洲刚果盆地,该地区拥有仅次于亚马逊的世界第二大热带雨林,但为了开辟新的橡胶种植园,当地盗伐现象猖獗。

“重大漏洞”

然而,环保人士认为,欧盟故意给这一法案留了些漏洞,意在安抚主要工业行业。

未被划入管控商品之列、用于制造汽车轮胎等产品的橡胶是其中最大的争议焦点。2020年,欧洲总计生产了约3亿只轮胎,且全球三大轮胎制造商倍耐力、德国大陆轮胎和米其林总部均位于欧洲。

“橡胶未被列入管控商品清单是该法的主要漏洞之一,”绿色和平农业和森林运动负责人西尼·埃拉贾对《财富》杂志表示。“这里面肯定存在一些政治考虑,所以管控商品种类数量极为有限。”

科学家和环保人士指出,受本世纪蓬勃发展的橡胶工业的影响,东南亚已有数十万公顷的森林遭砍伐,并被用于建造橡胶种植园。

环保组织Mighty Earth上月在一份报告中表示:“自2000年以来,橡胶生产的迅速发展已破坏了面积多达数百万公顷的森林和动物栖息地,对其中的生态体系和生物多样性造成了毁灭性打击,并导致数百个土著社群生存艰难。”该组织说,在柬埔寨、印度尼西亚和其他地区,有大批民众因橡胶种植园扩张被侵犯了人权并被驱逐出了居住地。

同样是在上个月,三位瑞典科学家得出结论称,由于数据使用存在缺陷,欧盟将两种高污染商品橡胶和玉米排除在了管控商品之外。他们写道,如果欧盟在通过草案时未做修改(不将橡胶和玉米纳入管控清单),其“可能会使欧盟遏制森林砍伐所做出的努力付诸东流”。

埃拉贾说,该草案还存在其他缺陷,比如说未将猪肉和家禽制品纳入进去,两者在生产过程中均会消耗大量来自毁林地区的动物饲料。它也未能解决全球湿地和草原不断遭到破坏的问题,而这是遏制全球变暖的关键。

她认为,根据新法,农业公司理论上可以选择将作物种植地从毁林地区迁到其他仍会导致同样严重的环境破坏和碳排放现象的地区。“这项法律在保护森林方面做得很好,但大豆种植所破坏的自然植被类型已不只局限于森林,”她说。比如以东南亚湿地和巴西草原为例。随着木材农场数量的与日俱增,数十万公顷的东南亚湿地正逐渐干涸,而巴西草原上的大豆作物种植面积也在日益增加。

“遗憾的是,我们身边满是与毁林有关的产品,”埃拉贾说,“就连冰箱里的食物也是如此。”(财富中文网)

译者:Claire

Many treats in the typical kitchen—ice cream, cookies, and chocolate spread, to name just three—could soon become scarce, and not only because of New Year’s diet resolutions.

Under a proposed new European Union deforestation law announced Wednesday, countless food items, as well as wooden furniture and chocolate, could be subject to tough new reporting regulations, compelling companies to prove that they have not felled forests in order to make them.

The EU deforestation law—which still needs ratification by the bloc's 27 countries—would have a major impact on agricultural giants and commodity traders, by regulating six key items: soy, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, beef, and wood. It also covers some processed products, like leather and furniture. The regulations would require companies doing business in Europe to show that their products do not contain ingredients that have been cultivated on deforested land.

The EU Commission, the bloc’s executive body, estimates that by clear-cutting forests in order to grow crops, that small handful of commodities alone adds more than 31.9 million metric tons of carbon emissions to the Earth’s atmosphere each year—a significant contributor to greenhouse gases and climate change.

“It’s about our responsibility as one of the largest economies, who unfortunately drives deforestation and forest degradation in other regions,” the bloc’s environment commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius told Bloomberg. He called the new rules “a very ambitious, ground-breaking proposal, which hasn’t been proposed anywhere in the world.”

Major work ahead

Removing deforestation from the EU's product chain will be an enormous task: the EU’s own research estimates that the bloc's €4 billion of annual imports of products with palm oil—it's in Nutella and many hard ice creams, for example—involved felling about 67,661 hectares of forest (167,194 acres). Another 161,676.11 acres of trees have been cut in order to plant soybeans—a big factor in Brazil’s deforestation.

By including leather, the EU has also targeted an item often overlooked in the debate over deforestation. In Brazil’s Amazon region, for example, trees have been cleared to make way for cattle ranches, which supply Volkswagen, General Motors, and Ford with the luxury leather used in making car seats. If Europe's new rules come into effort, automakers will need to prove the ranches they use are not on deforested land.

In fact, major automakers and footwear companies have been quietly monitoring the deforestation deep in their supply chains at least since 2017, according to SourceMap, a global supply-chain tracing company in New York, whose clients include large-scale manufacturers in those sectors.

"It is the idea that companies are responsible for what happens in their extended supply chain," SourceMap cofounder and CEO Leonardo Bonanni told Fortune on Wednesday. "That is a complete change, where companies are responsible not only for their suppliers, but for the suppliers of their suppliers."

Under a U.S. law passed in 2018, customs agents can seize imports suspected of being made with forced labor. Unlike that law, the new EU deforestation rules would require companies to report details of deforestation, but would not necessarily seize assets.

The EU's plan comes two weeks after its officials trumpeted new deforestation efforts at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced that the bloc would spend €1 billion on restoring and managing the world’s forests, which she called “the green lungs of the earth.” About €250 million of that money will go to Africa’s Congo Basin region, the world’s second biggest tropical rainforest area after the Amazon, where there has been rampant deforestation for new rubber plantations.

'Major loopholes'

However, environmentalists say there are big holes in the EU’s deforestation plan, which they believe was designed in order to appease major industries.

Perhaps the most notable absence on the list of regulated commodities is rubber—used to make tires for Europe’s giant auto industry. About 300 million tires were manufactured in Europe in 2020, and three of the world’s biggest tire makers—Pirelli, Continental, and Michelin—are European companies.

“Rubber is not part of the EU law, and we see that as one of the major loopholes in this legislation,” Greenpeace agricultural and forest campaign Sini Erajaa told Fortune. “There were definitely some political debates about it. The list of commodities is very limited.”

Scientists and environmentalists say millions of acres have been felled for rubber plantations in Southeast Asia—an industry that has boomed this century.

“Rapid expansion in rubber production since 2000 has had a devastating impact on millions of hectares of forests, ecosystems, habitats and biodiversity, as well as the human rights and livelihoods of hundreds of local and Indigenous communities,” the environmental group Mighty Earth said in a report last month. The group says the expansion of rubber plantations has provoked widespread evictions and human rights abuses in Cambodia, Indonesia, and elsewhere.

Also last month, three Swedish scientists concluded that the EU had excluded from the law two highly polluting commodities—rubber and maize—because of its flawed use of data. If the EU law goes through in its current form—without rubber or maize included—it “could undermine its effort to curb deforestation caused by EU imports,” they wrote.

Erajaa says the law has other problems, including not including pork or poultry, both of which consume vast amounts of animal feed grown on deforested land. And it fails to tackle the steady destruction of wetlands and grasslands across the world—essential to keeping global warming in check.

Under the new law, she says, agricultural companies could in theory choose to relocate their crops from deforested land to other areas that still lead to equally severe environmental damage and carbon emissions. “The law does a good job of protecting forests, but soy production is expanding in other natural valuable areas,” she said, citing wetlands in Southeast Asia, which have been drained as millions of acres of new wood plantations are planted, and the grasslands in Brazil, where soy crops have massively expanded.

“We are unfortunately surrounded by products that are connected to deforestation,” Erajaa said, “as well as in our fridge.”

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