Corporations have wiped out enough trees for profit to fill up the United Kingdom

Several companies within the agriculture industry pledged to end their ties to deforestation by 2020, but as that deadline is about to come and go, it turns out they are all liars as they have wiped out enough trees for profit over the last decade to fill up the United Kingdom.

And it’s only going to get worse.

Deforestation in the Amazon has reached new highs and scientists now warn that merely planting more trees is not enough to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is accelerating climate change and putting one million species at risk of extinction, including ourselves.

The situation is truly dire, and one would think corporations would rush to change their greedy ways. But a new report by Greenpeace reveals otherwise.

The report identifies four main agricultural products as the culprits causing deforestation: beef, palm oil, soybeans and paper.

Demand for all of these products is already high but is set to increase, meaning industries are prepared to continue looking the other way while nations buzz down trees at a dizzying pace to make way for plantations and ranches.

In the meantime, they continue to insist that they are progressing toward a future without deforestation. However, it’s likely that day will only come when there are no more trees left.

“These companies are destroying our children’s future by driving us towards climate and ecological collapse,” Greenpeace UK’s Anna Jones warned.

“They’ve wasted a decade on half-measures and in that time vast areas of the natural world have been destroyed,” she continued. “They should be in crisis talks right now, but they’re still trying to grow demand for products that will drive forest destruction even further. Our message to companies is simple: evolve your business to prevent climate and ecological breakdown.”

In fact, these companies could simply make sure that their supply chains are deforestation-free, something the state of California is requiring by law.

“Any company using soya (soybeans) needs to be committed to eliminating deforestation and habitat destruction,” Greenpeace UK’s Richard George said. “They need to be aware of where their products come from. It’s shocking that 10 years after these companies committed to cutting deforestation, they don’t know how much soya they are using. We are in the middle of a climate crisis. That’s not okay.”

That really goes for every agricultural product these companies sell.

Clearly, this is why private industry needs to be tightly regulated. Companies simply cannot be trusted to hold themselves accountable and will usually choose profit over the environment and people every time.

We need forests for oxygen, medicines, and many more important uses. Cutting them down hurts the people running these companies as much as it hurts everyone else. They either don’t care or they are too ignorant to realize what they are doing. It’s time for governments to step in and do what needs to be done to end deforestation once and for all before deforestation ends us.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.

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