Press release:22 November 2022

Barbra Streisand, Coldplay among artists calling on EU leaders to keep historic deforestation law strong

Barbra Streisand, Coldplay, Jason Momoa and over 80 entertainment industry stars have urged European Union leaders to adopt a bold and ambitious law to tackle global deforestation as crucial negotiations on the new rules progress.

Prominent musicians, actors, artists, directors and activists from across the world have signed an open letter to EU lawmakers, standing with over one million citizens who support a strong law. The letter calls on leaders to seize the opportunity presented by the legislation to set the world on a path to a deforestation-free future.

“This law matters deeply to all of us. Forests are crucial for the planet and one of our best solutions to climate change, and Indigenous Peoples their best protectors. Nothing short of a bold and ambitious new EU law will help us in the race to avoid irreversible climate change and safeguard irreplaceable biodiversity,” the letter says, which is supported by ClientEarth, Artists for Amazonia, and the #Together4Forests movement.

Actors Bill Pullman, Dame Emma Thompson, Jane Fonda, Lisa Bonet, Matteo Simoni, Malin Akerman, Mark Ruffalo and Wagner Moura are among the signatories of the letter, as well as music legends Brian Eno, Bryan Adams, Sting and Robyn. Directors including Adam McKay and Darren Aronofsky, together with activists Txai Surui and Neidinha Bandeira from Brazil and Prigi Arisandi from Indonesia have also signed.

The deforestation-free products law will require companies to pinpoint where their products originate and ensure that they are not linked to nature destruction if they want to sell them on the EU market. It will apply to products that are at high risk of deforestation, like cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soy, rubber, maize and wood.

Recent polling shows more than 80 percent of Europeans support the deforestation-free law and for lawmakers to strengthen critical parts of the bill that are currently up for debate.

Provisions to be debated include requiring companies to stop selling products that destroy critical ecosystems, cause forest degradation, or violate the land rights of Indigenous Peoples, and obligations on EU member states to consistently check whether companies follow the rules.

The letter says: “We stand with those calling for a strong new law that guarantees deforestation, forest degradation and human rights abuses do not have a place in our supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, and communities. We don’t accept the brutal violations of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, who fight with their lives to protect precious forests, for the sake of more cattle ranches or monoculture plantations.

“We need all EU leaders to come together and adopt a strong and ambitious law that protects both forests and the Indigenous and local communities fighting to defend them.”

The European Parliament voted in resounding favour of an ambitious law in September. It is now negotiating the final text with the Council of the European Union and European Commission, with a final version expected before the end of this year.


Notes to editors:
  • Background information on the European Commission proposal for a Regulation on deforestation-free products can be accessed here.
About ClientEarth

ClientEarth is a non-profit organisation that uses the law to create systemic change that protects the Earth for – and with – its inhabitants. We are tackling climate change, protecting nature and stopping pollution, with partners and citizens around the globe. We hold industry and governments to account, and defend everyone’s right to a healthy world. From our offices in Europe, Asia and the USA we shape, implement and enforce the law, to build a future for our planet in which people and nature can thrive together.

About Artists for Amazonia

Artists for Amazonía is harnessing the power of creative and entertainment influencers to catalyze global action in response to the crisis in the Amazon rainforest and threats to indigenous earth defenders.