New York, NY – Environmental NGOs Rainforest Action Network, SumofUs, Friends of the Earth U.S., and Amazon Watch call out the 400-plus companies in the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and their just-announced ‘Forest Positive Coalition’ for failing to cut deforestation from their supply chains in 2020 and continuing to ignore the need to protect and respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in order to end deforestation. The CGF announced the launch of the Forest Positive Coalition today, as part of the UN Climate Week events.
Over 200,000 global citizens and consumers confronted Mars, Mondelēz, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, and Unilever in recent weeks, highlighting the need to fully deliver on their pledges to “No Deforestation, No Peatlands, and No Exploitation” (NDPE). These specific companies are all members of the CGF’s newly formed “Forest Positive Coalition” — a group poised to set the agenda for how CGF companies deliver on their commitment to ending deforestation. Over 75 civil society groups have been pressuring the CGF to act, yet for more than a year, the CGF has failed to respond to the recommendations.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and history have shown that when rights are respected, organized local and Indigenous communities are a key defense against deforestation and yet the CGF companies continue to ignore this in their approach. Given that forty percent of global deforestation is the result of commodity production –– mainly for palm oil, pulp, paper, beef, soy, cocoa, and timber products –– consumer goods brands that source these forest-risk commodities, like those in the CGF, have a significant responsibility to adopt and implement global policies that secure land rights for Indigenous Peoples and stop forest clearing and degradation.
Brihannala Morgan, Senior Forest Campaigner, Rainforest Action Network (RAN), said:
“We’ve seen ten years of inaction, half-measures and greenwashing from the CGF, while human rights defenders and frontline communities have been putting their lives on the line to defend forests from rampant corporate expansion. We have an increasingly narrow window of time to take real action, and we need the CGF to uphold the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities now. The executives of these CGF companies live on the same planet as the rest of us, and we all face the same climate emergency.”
Jeff Conant, Senior International Forests Program Manager with Friends of the Earth U.S., said:
“Massive and deadly climate-fueled fires and tropical storms are here and now. Keeping forests standing and respecting the rights of forest-dwelling people is our best defense. We’ve seen agribusiness and consumer brands make empty promises for a decade while continuing to profit from the destruction, and we’ve seen their financial backers turn a blind eye. Until and unless we see real action, we can expect that whatever the CGF says about being ‘forest positive’ is pure utter greenwash.”
Pendle Marshall-Hallmark, Climate & Finance Campaigner, Amazon Watch, said:
“In the Amazon and in forests across the world, we’re seeing the ways that corporate interests enable illegal deforestation, the violation of Indigenous rights, and the climate crisis. The CGF has a responsibility to act. These companies must ensure their suppliers immediately address any deforestation, land-grabbing, and human rights abuses that may exist in their supply chains if we have any hope of a livable future.”