Dutch Research Council (NWO) awarded ACELG researcher Dr. Maria Weimer a Veni grant of 250,000 euros for her 3-year research project “Making the EU a global leader in fighting deforestation.”
Nearly 80% of all deforestation is caused by international trade in palm oil, beef, soy and other forest-risk commodities. The grant will allow Weimer to research the potential of EU environmental law and regulation to stop tropical deforestation that is caused by agricultural conversion.
Being one of the largest importers of forest-risk commodities, the EU increasingly recognises its responsibility for tropical deforestation, and is currently searching for regulatory approaches to ensure that commodities traded on the EU market do not contribute to deforestation.
Weimer’s research will explore one particularly promising regulatory pathway, namely EU environmental unilateralism. In this approach, the EU uses market access to unilaterally impose sustainability standards on foreign traders and producers.
In her research, Weimer will develop empirically informed normative and legal proposals on how to improve the legitimacy and reception of EU unilateral environmental regulation in exporting countries, such as Indonesia and Brazil. She will also produce broader insights into the question whether, and if so, how unilaterally imposed EU environmental regulation can be justified from the perspective of affected actors in third countries.
The research project will engage a broad range of societal and academic actors. In a first event, Weimer will organise a workshop with key stakeholders from policy, civil society and academia to further elaborate the research agenda.
This is the second NWO grant awarded to Maria Weimer. In 2012 she was awarded the Rubicon grant for her research project 'Defending values in the World Trade Organisation? Exploring the relationship between EU food regulation, WTO law, and the social disintegration of markets.'
Find an overview of all 2019 research grants on the NWO website.