Time to step up the UK’s commitment to greening international supply chains

An independent taskforce of industry leaders calls on Government to increase ambition on greening the UK’s supply chains

London, UK (30 September, 2019) – The recent New York Declaration on Forests Report published for the UN Climate Action Summit shows that deforestation has accelerated over the last 5 years despite sustainability pledges that have been made by countries and companies. A step change in approach from business, government and civil society is needed.

The UK’s Global Resource Initiative (GRI) Taskforce calls on UK leaders to do more to address its global deforestation footprint through international commodity supply chains.

Up to 70% of all deforestation and land use change is being driven by agricultural expansion for the production of agricultural and forestry commodities, specifically in tropical countries. Many of the world’s forests are being lost with enormous consequences for nature and global food systems. Protected and restored forests are a ‘natural climate’ solution, providing up to a third of the greenhouse gas mitigation required to help stabilise global warming, for the future health of the planet.

The independent GRI Taskforce was commissioned by Government in July to report back in early 2020 with recommendations for how the UK and other countries can achieve this goal, working in partnership with producing nations. The Taskforce is led by Sir Ian Cheshire, Chairman of Barclays and former CEO of Kingfisher plc and made up of leading supply chain companies, financiers and civil society.

Early signals are that the GRI recommendations will encourage the UK to adopt stronger regulatory and policy levers including clearer metrics to support the transition to zero-deforestation supply chains, in addition to strengthening bilateral partnerships with commodity producing countries.

Sir Ian Cheshire, the chair of the independent taskforce said:

 “UK companies are ready to lead a transition to sustainable land use, which represents a global investment opportunity worth £4.5 trillion annually by 2030. This is why we have convened the Global Resource Initiative Taskforce to make concrete recommendations to UK leaders in government, business and the financial sector about how to do so.

The UK will have a unique opportunity in 2020 to set a new level of climate ambition across sectors as co-host of the UNFCCC COP. The Global Resource Initiative Taskforce will suggest a model for how major consuming countries like the UK should be taking account of its global impact through supply chains.”

More information about the Global Resource Initiative Taskforce can be found here.

For more information, contact Jonathan.Gorman@efeca.com

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