Breaking News! AB 416 (Kalra) CA Deforestation-Free Procurement Act Passes Senate Governmental Organization Committee
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Today, AB 416 the Deforestation-Free Procurement Act passed the Senate Governmental Organizational Committee with a 11 – 4 vote. Earlier this year, this bill was introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) along with co-sponsors, Social Compassion in Legislation, Friends of the Earth, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Peace 4 Animals.
If passed into law, California would become the first in the nation to require state procurement contracts to certify that operations and supply chains are not contributing to tropical forest loss. All state contracts involving commodities such as palm oil, soy, cattle, rubber, paper/pulp and timber would require contractors to maintain a No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policy, and provide evidence that their operations are not linked to forest destruction and degradation or abuses of indigenous peoples’ rights.
“I am grateful to the Committee for passing AB 416 today, and I want to thank the bill’s sponsors for their tireless work and advocacy on the California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act,” said Assemblymember Ash Kalra. “The industrial-scale exploitation of these forests have wide-ranging impacts on biodiversity and human rights, and we can ensure California is not an inadvertent contributor to the destruction and degradation of tropical forests through more vigorous supply chain accountability.”
Last week, the Canadian national temperature record was broken on Monday, then again on Tuesday, and then again on Wednesday when temperatures reached 121 degrees. Salem, Oregon hit 117, beating the previous record by 8 degrees and causing nearly 100 deaths. June temperature records were set in Helsinki, Belarus, Moscow and across Siberia and elsewhere. Artic ice is melting at faster rates than even climate scientists anticipated.
The Western United States is in a mega-drought. Governor Newsom recently declared a drought emergency in 41 of our state’s 58 counties. Extreme temperature, fire, and weather events dominate the news, highlighting the need for action.
Californians of all parties support action. A recent poll conducted by top pollster, Data Orbital, showed that 84% of registered voters in the state are concerned about state procurement policies contributing to deforestation. This concern translated to 81% supporting the policy of this bill.
“Rampant deforestation is catastrophic to both humans and animals,” said Judie Mancuso, CEO and Founder of Social Compassion in Legislation. “The Committees’ vote reflects the importance of California being a leader in forest protection by utilizing its purchasing power to support corporations who are doing the right thing. Time is not on our side to wait any longer to take action.”
Voted YES: Dodd (Chair), Allen, Archuleta, Becker, Bradford, Glazer, Hueso, Kamlager, Portantino, Rubio, Wilk
Voted NO: Nielsen (Vice Chair), Borgeas, Jones, Melendez
AB 416 will now move to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
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Thank you for your help,
Judie Mancuso, founder/CEO/president
Social Compassion in Legislation