Better collaboration needed on deforestation, consultants say

18th November 2014


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Management ,
  • Auditing ,
  • Certification

Author

Alima Kabdiyeva

Consumer goods companies working to reduce deforestation in their supply chains need to collaborate with the REDD+ community in order to meet the pledge made at the New York climate talks in September.

The New York declaration on forests set a target to halve forest loss by 2020 and end it completely in 2030. More than 150 businesses, governments, and organisations representing civil society and indigenous peoples sign the communiqué.

Companies signing the declaration represent the majority of businesses consuming commodities that drive deforestation, such soy, palm oil, pulp and paper and cattle products.

Deforestation and forest degradation account for around 15% of total greenhouse-gas emissions. Consultancy PwC estimates that full implementation of the pledge would lead to a reduction of up to 7.5% of total global anthropogenic carbon emissions by 2020.

However, there are significant challenges for consumer goods companies to overcome, it warns in a new report. Commitments needs to be transformed into practical contracts with suppliers, with legal and procurement teams involved and trained appropriately, PwC said.

Producers need to willingly become certified to prevent them selling to buyers who do not require them to meet standards. Those that volunteer may incur costs and will have to commit resources to the certification process and to understanding the technical language, it said.

Supply chains will need to be traceable from the field to the product. This is a particular challenge for palm oil, as oil from different plantations, mills and countries are mixed together during production..

Once traceability is achieved, data needs to be gathered to establish whether the commodity was produced on recently deforested land or will cause forest loss in the future. Experienced personnel, equipped with appropriate technology to collect and analyse the data, will have to visit production sites regularly, said PwC.

Consumer goods companies may also experience difficulties with monitoring and measuring progress, and engaging with national and local governments and communities, it believes.

REDD+ aims to pay developing nations in return for not destroying forest. Governments and organisations, including the UN, have been working on such projects since the Bali climate talks in 2008.

Jim Stephenson, sustainable forestry and agriculture specialist on PwC’s sustainability and climate change team, said that, so far, there has been no large-scale collaboration between the REDD+ community and consumer goods companies on tackling deforestation.

The two communities could help each other, for example, agencies created through REDD+ could help consumer goods companies discuss plans with national and local government, Stephenson said.

Jonathan Grant, climate policy and carbon markets specialist at PwC, said: “The REDD+ community has the skills but not the finance, while consumer goods companies have finance, but not necessarily the skills. If they come together, it could be really effective.”

Meanwhile, UNEP and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil last week signed a memorandum of understanding to combine their political and institutional resources to make sustainable palm oil the norm across world markets.

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

EU and UK citizens fear net-zero delivery deficit

Support for net zero remains high across the UK and the EU, but the majority of citizens don't believe that major emitters and governments will reach their climate targets in time.

16th May 2024

Read more

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

Taxing the extraction of fossil fuels in the world’s most advanced economies could raise $720bn (£575bn) by 2030 to support vulnerable countries facing climate damages, analysis has found.

2nd May 2024

Read more

The largest-ever research initiative of its kind has been launched this week to establish a benchmark for the private sector’s contribution to the UK’s 2050 net-zero target.

2nd May 2024

Read more

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close