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Towards indicators of the global environmental impacts of UK consumption: Embedded Deforestation - BE0190

The aim of this report is to provide preliminary results for deforestation embedded in UK consumption, and the methodological approach for the draft indicator. The Outcome Indicator Framework for the UK Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan calls for the development of an indicator to measure the “overseas environmental impacts of UK consumption of key commodities.” This report describes the work undertaken to date and the work planned to take place over the coming months in order to release this indicator as an experimental statistic following completion of the project in August 2021. It is planned that this will feed into Outcome Indicator Reporting for 2022.
• Preliminary results for deforestation embedded in UK consumption of crop-driven agricultural commodities are presented in Appendix 1. UK consumption of agricultural commodities (excluding livestock) is estimated as responsible for 20,196 ha of tropical deforestation in 2017; a 42% decrease compared to 2005. Results are also presented for the total land area used to grow this same selection of agricultural crops consumed within the UK, the total GHG emissions from deforestation and the total tonnes of embedded production for UK consumption.

• The methodological approach that has been selected for indicator calculation is described in Appendix 2. This is based on combining multi-regional input-output modelling with physical production and trade data and a deforestation dataset, to determine where impacts from UK consumption are taking place and which commodities are causing this impact.

• Additional results are presented in Appendix 3. These break down the total deforestation, land use, GHG emissions from deforestation and tonnes of embedded consumption to show the breakdown of the ten most significant commodities. For example, the three commodities contributing most to total deforestation from UK consumption are estimated to be oil palm, soy and maize. Following project completion in August 2021, such results will be presented on an interactive dashboard to allow for greater interrogation of the data.

• A technical outline of future work planned can be found in Appendix 4. This includes the development of additional impact metrics and the proposed QA process prior to release as an experimental statistic.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Defra version Addendum to JNCC Report 681   (228k)
• FRP - Final Report : Towards indicators of the global environmental impacts of UK consumption   (1392k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2020

To: 2021

Cost: £62,614
Contractor / Funded Organisations
J N C C (JNCC - Joint Nature Conservation Committee) Support Committee
Environmental Impact              
International Trade              
Sustainable Consumption and Production