On March 23, 2021, we wondered in our article about the timber trade in the world if we were not walking on our heads. A cloud of schizophrenia hangs over. When the ones and the others rise up millions of hectares which go up in smoke to the four corners of the planet, we discover that the same contribute greatly in the name of the sacrosanct world trade.
The tree of good conscience, planted here and there, seems to hide the dying forest of globalization.
Here is a new report made public this Wednesday by the WWF even more accredits the thesis according to which deforestation cannot be limited to, on the one hand the culprits who make, and on the other, the innocent who condemn. The overlaps are much deeper and they all lead to the same result: forests are disappearing at high speed all over the world.
And Europe is not spared by this observation. Far from it. This is what the report underlines by indicating that "Europe is the second global destroyer of tropical forests behind China and ahead of the United States".
It would be wrong to think that deforestation is the work of evil in distant countries from where we sometimes receive, on the news on TV, at dinner time, images that move the time of a steak .
Far from being disconnected from all reality and responsibility, deforestation and the destruction of the ecosystem that surrounds it follow us like our shadow.
A tree burns to satisfy an act of purchase. Forests are disappearing to meet demand. Bulldozers are busy in the Amazon, Asia and Europe to fulfill consumer orders.
We all now know the main causes of deforestation. They are called soybeans, palm oil or intensive beef farming. But they also concern wood products (furniture, pellets for example), cocoa or coffee.
Europe consumes. She even consumes a lot.
The figures put forward by the WWF make people shudder. Imports from the European Union caused, between 2005 and 2017, the destruction of 3.5 million hectares. "It is the equivalent of the city of Lyon razed each week" specifies Véronique Andrieux, Director General of WWF France. In 2017, these imports accounted for 16% of the deforestation attributed to global trade. Not to mention the climate impact of these imports in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Still according to the report: “EU imports represented 1,807 million tonnes of CO2, or 40% of the European Union's overall annual emissions” . And we don't like it, we have to face reality. The eight largest EU countries are responsible for 80%: Germany, the first, followed by Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Poland.
In addition to the figures it mentions, this kind of report must place us face to face with our responsibilities. Our actions here and now have a consequence there, elsewhere, far away. Consuming responsibly and intelligently means avoiding the disappearance of a tree or the death of an animal somewhere in our common home.
As Véronique Andrieux judiciously adds: “To limit deforestation as a consumer, reduce your consumption of animal proteins. If you want to eat poultry, check that it is not fed with Brazilian soybeans and if you go for beef, go for local producers and pasture farms. "
Come on, it's not much. Just common sense.