NY Legislature Passes Tropical Deforestation Free Procurement Act
Friday, June 30, 2023
The New York state Legislature has passed the Tropical Deforestation-Free Procurement Act, which aims to hold companies contracting with the state accountable for deforestation their products might create. It could range from how it is cultivated to the company's supply chain.
An Accountability Framework Initiative/CDP report found more than 200 companies surveyed identified almost $80 billion of forest related risks.
Marcus Sibley, regional director of conservation partnerships for the National Wildlife Federation, said misinformation created a challenge to getting the bill passed.
"Originally, when the bill was first enacted, there was inclusion of boreal forests, and this legislative session we removed that language, and it's only been tropical forests," Sibley explained. "We communicated that, but that information didn't exactly get to everyone."
He added language has been clarified, so people now understand the bill better. The measure had opposition from organizations comfortable with the status quo, but its supporters are hopeful Gov. Kathy Hochul will sign it.
The legislature also considered other supply chain improvements. Though not passed, the New York State Transparency in Supply Chains Act would have required companies to disclose efforts being taken to eradicate human trafficking in their supply chains. Sibley argued more needs to be done to ensure New York remains a climate leader.
"There are various environmental implications tied to what we're trying to address in this current bill," pointed out. "There's the climate implications on a national as well as international basis. But, then there's also the impacts of the climate change."
A timeline for implementation of the bill is still being worked out, but those working with the state must prepare. A Cambridge University study found 94 companies have adopted zero-deforestation commitments, though most are not in practice.
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