In Another Major Strike Against Our Environment & Endangered Species, Governor Newsom Vetoes The CA Deforestation-Free Procurement Act
Shockingly, Governor Gavin Newsom just vetoed The California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act, (AB 416). The disappointing news comes after the bill received tremendous support last month when it passed the California Senate with an astounding vote of 30-8.
This critical bill, authored by California Assemblymember Ash Kalra, would have established California as a leader in tackling the many devastating effects of tropical forest destruction. It would have required that companies that produce forest-risk commodities such as palm oil, cattle, soy, rubber, paper/pulp, and timber maintain a No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policy. Establishing these strict measures would have helped to protect tropical forests and Indigenous Peoples’ rights, as well as save the lives of many species on the brink of extinction.
“We are extremely disheartened that Governor Newsom vetoed The California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act, a bill that we have been working on since 2019,” stated Katie Cleary, Founder and President of Peace 4 Animals, a co-sponsor of the bill. “His decision seems very contradictive considering the Climate Action Package that he recently signed into law allotting $15 billion to protect and manage California’s forests and focus on climate risk mitigation.”
“This haphazard decision will continue to aid in the destruction and degradation of our rainforests. It also further endangers wildlife struggling to survive in increasingly fragmented habitats. This includes Indonesia Orangutans, Sumatran Tigers, and Javan Rhinos, as well as up to 50 million species of invertebrates that call our rainforests home,” continued Cleary.
Tragically, two-thirds of our Earth’s tropical rainforests have already been destroyed or degraded, an area of rainforest which is the equivalent of 300 football fields is bulldozed and burned to the ground every hour. Tropical rainforests cover less than 3% of the Earth’s surface and are home to more than half of our planet’s terrestrial species.
“There has never been a more urgent time in our Earth’s history to take action to help protect the natural world as we know it. We have taken, damaged, and destroyed so much of our natural resources and environment that if we continue to go down this road, there will be nothing left. It is our job as the guardians and caretakers of this Earth to do whatever we can to protect it and all of its inhabitants. This is why Peace 4 Animals is determined to continue working on important legislation to do just that,” concluded Cleary.