In response to today’s publication of the Finance Report by the UK government taskforce, the Global Resource Initiative (GRI), Jo Blackman, Head of Forests Policy and Advocacy at Global Witness, said: 

“Today’s report from the UK government’s GRI taskforce makes a compelling case for the need to bring in legislation that stops the UK financial sector continuing to bankroll global deforestation.   

Curbing the financing of deforestation is crucial to tackle the climate emergency given the critical role that forests play in absorbing carbon emissions and regulating the global climate. This has never been more urgent, with climate-critical rainforests like the Amazon disappearing at record rates. 

As the GRI report makes clear, the government’s current reliance on voluntary policies and climate reporting initiatives as the way to cut off the finance behind deforestation is doomed to fail. The government must listen to its own taskforce and take regulatory action that makes it illegal for banks and investors to finance and profit from rainforest destruction. 

This report further adds to the growing pressure from MPs and Peers across the political spectrum, civil society, and indigenous and forest communities to stop the money pipeline fuelling global forest destruction.  

We need to see a clear plan from UK government to bring forward legislation and deliver on the GRI recommendation in its renewed Green Finance strategy due later this year.”