A rainforest area the size of Spain will have been destroyed by firms growing consumer staples like palm oil in the decade to 2020 -- industry’s self-imposed deadline to end deforestation, Greenpeace said yesterday.
Some of the world’s largest consumer brands -- including Nestle and Unilever -- had pledged in 2010 to reach net zero deforestation within a decade through “responsible sourcing” of cattle, palm oil, soya and other commodities.
But since that pledge was signed, the pace of deforestation linked to commodities had increased “dramatically” and helped destroy at least 50 million hectares of forest, according to a new analysis carried out by Greenpeace.
“These companies are destroying our children’s future by driving us towards climate and ecological collapse,” said Anna Jones, global project lead for forests at Greenpeace UK.
“They’ve wasted a decade on half-measures and in that time, vast areas of the natural world have been destroyed.”
Since 2010, the area of Brazilian rainforest planted with soya -- which is used to feed animals sold for meat -- increased 45 percent.
In Indonesia, palm oil production was up three quarters since the start of the decade and the footprint of cocoa production in the Ivory Coast surged 80 percent, said the charity.