Deforestation is a major cause for climate change, responsible for 20% of CO2 emissions in the world. It has a negative effect on cocoa yield and other food crops. Consequently, it is to the advantage of cocoa and chocolate companies to agree to reduce deforestation significant by 2025.
Initiated by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and the Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit (ISU), 12 chocolate and cocoa companies published their commitment to end deforestation and forest degradation in key cocoa growing countries.
The initiative will specifically focus on Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, as both countries make for nearly 60% of the world's cocoa crop.
In the coming months, pledging parties will work out a monitoring and reporting framework tracking every company's deforestation commitments and investments. This will be presented end this year at the COP 23 United Nations climate discussions in Bonn (Germany).
COP 23 will focus on putting the words of the Paris Climate Agreement, concluded December 2015, into concrete, measurable actions.
This applies as much to industry as it does to the 160 or so countries that have submitted their plans on how they intend to reduce CO2 emissions in the coming years.
The successful implementation of these plans is pivotal in scaling up the impact of industry’s efforts to fight deforestation and climate change, incentivising climate-smart agriculture, effective enforcement of deforestation legislation and supporting sustainably sourced raw materials.