How consumers in China, Europe and India fuel tropical deforestation around the world.
1. China and Europe are the two largest factors in the demand-side causes of deforestation, according to the NGO “Global Canopy Program” (GCP).
2. Together, they account for 45% of all global commodities imports, measured by value, which put forests at risk.
3. China alone imports 22% of such commodities – such as palm oil, cattle, paper, soybeans or timber. All of these have been responsible for tropical forestland being cleared.
4. China buys nearly 60% of all soybeans grown in forested tropical forest countries.
5. At present, many EU-based companies and investment funds are working to reduce their supply chain dependence on, or investment in, commodities causing deforestation.
6. Companies in India, China and Russia have generally not been active on these efforts.
7. The United States is a much smaller factor in tropical deforestation than either China or Europe, not least because it produces most of its own vegetable-based oils.
8. What little palm oil is imported to the U.S. comes overwhelmingly from Malaysia and a bit from Indonesia.
9. Most U.S. timber imports come from non-tropical Canada, which has achieved a 0.02% annual net deforestation rate – meaning its forestry and development practices are almost neutral from year to year.
10. India is the third-largest demand-side contributor to tropical deforestation, after China and Europe, importing 9% of related commodities like palm and soybean oil.
Sources: The Globalist Research Center, Global Canopy Program Forest500 Project, Canadian Forest Service, SUNY ESF, WWF