According to Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent wrote in the Guardian on 26 May 2021 that:
The NGO Global Witness analysed 2020 data on 300 companies involved in deforestation for soy, palm oil and other commodities. It found that more than £900m in financing came from UK-based financial institutions.
Neil tabled two amendments to strengthen provisions in the Bill to tackle deforestation and ensure indigenous communities, in places such as Brazil and Malaysia, are protected from illegal land clearance.
Amendment 26 aimed to ensure the free, prior, and informed consent has been obtained from affected indigenous peoples and local communities, before lenders and investment firms can provide financial services to commercial enterprises harvesting forest risk commodities.
Amendment 27 sought to bar financial institutions from providing financial services to commercial enterprises that illegally deforest land.
Neil’s amendments were supported by a large section of Conservative MPs, opposition parties, and environmental organisations. While the amendments were not pushed to a vote, Neil welcomed the assurances given by Minister Rebecca Pow MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who said:
“On Amendments 26 and 27, I completely agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton and Honiton (Neil Parish)… that deforestation must be tackled if we are to achieve our climate and biodiversity targets, and legality is at the heart of our requirements.”
The bill is currently at the Report Stage in the House of Lords.
The bill was first introduced into Parliament on 15 October 2019 and has been delayed by Brexit and other issues.
However SumOfUs have other ideas about how to stop banks investing in deforestation: public pressure. They invite everyone to sign their petition which simply demands a number of banks to
Stop funding the destruction of the Amazon and Cerrado by imposing strict “zero-deforestation” policies on soy traders!
They need more signatures so please go to https://actions.sumofus.org/a/stop-bankrolling-deforestation-2 and sign!