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COP28: UK govt announces new global deforestation law – Friends of the Earth reaction

news release

Responding to the UK government’s latest announcement out of the UN climate talks in Dubai, that it will bring in new legislation to address the UK’s contribution to global deforestation and biodiversity loss, Clare Oxborrow, forests campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said:

“The government has repeatedly promised to halt global deforestation at international climate summits, yet this long-delayed law fails to fully curb the UK’s role in the destruction of the world’s precious forests.

“It’s certainly positive that some of the biggest drivers of deforestation, such as beef, soy, palm oil and cocoa, are covered by the new law. But products linked to illegal deforestation won’t be eradicated from UK supermarkets completely unless all high-risk commodities, including coffee, rubber and maize, are captured by the legislation.

“What’s more, the proposed law only accounts for illegal deforestation, which is notoriously difficult to determine and could see some countries weakening their own protections to reduce the number of products impacted by the ban. Not to mention the fact that it will only apply to the very largest businesses – many companies will still be able to import products linked to deforestation unchecked.

“Given the urgency and scale of the climate and nature crisis, the UK really needs to respond with the appropriate level of ambition. That’s why Friends of the Earth is campaigning for a new due diligence law to hold all companies to account for environmental harms and human rights abuses in their supply chains.” 


For more information and interview requests contact the Friends of the Earth press office on 020 7566 1649 or email

Notes to editors

1. To find out more about the new due diligence law that Friends of the Earth is campaigning for please visit:

2. A briefing setting out the case for a new Business, Human Rights and Environment Act can be viewed here:

3. About Friends of the Earth: Friends of the Earth is an international community dedicated to the protection of the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it. We bring together more than two million people in 75 countries, combining people power all over the world to transform local actions into global impact. For more information visit: follow us at @friends_earth, or like our Facebook page. Save paper and send an e-card today, available at

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