New California bill would address products linked to deforestation and climate change

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California State Assembly Member Ash Kalra today introduced the California Deforestation Free Procurement Act (AB2002). If the bill were to become law, it would tap the enormous purchasing power of California to halt the destruction of tropical forests, a leading cause of climate change.

When first introduced in 2019, the bill received strong bi-partisan support. The California Deforestation Free Procurement Act as introduced today is co-authored by Senator Ben Allen, Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, and Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes.

“With the world’s forests on fire, this bill sends a strong signal that there should be zero tolerance for illegal and destructive commodity-driven deforestation,” said Jeff Conant, Friends of the Earth’s senior international forests program manager. “Voluntary measures have failed to stem the tide of deforestation. It’s clear that government interventions like the Deforestation Free Procurement Act are urgently needed.”

The Deforestation Free Procurement Act would apply to all companies doing business with the state in products that contain “tropical forest-risk” commodities such as palm oil, paper pulp, tropical timber, rubber, cattle and soybeans. Companies selling such products to the state would be required to certify that their production has not contributed to tropical deforestation.

“As one of the world’s largest consumer economies, California has a chance to extend its climate leadership to the protection of tropical forests,” said Conant. “We expect the Deforestation Free Procurement Act to build momentum toward a shift away from irresponsible consumption, to a more climate-friendly economy.”

Under the proposed law, companies will be required to provide precise details about the source of forest-risk commodities found in products that may be furnished to the state—down to the plot of land they are grown on. Further, companies must put in place strict measures to protect forests and biodiversity, reduce emissions from plantations and respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples whose lands are considered for plantation development.

For a full list of the bill’s current supporters, see the press release issued by Assembly Member Ash Kalra.

Expert contact: Jeff Conant, (510) 900-0016, jconant@foe.org
Communications contact: Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744, pdavis@foe.org

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