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The year 2020 was supposed to be when the world solved the problem of falling forests. Instead, deforestation hit a 12-year high. Hundreds of big companies pledged to stop deforestation by 2020, but only four truly followed through, according to a new report out Monday from CDP, a nonprofit that tracks corporate commitments.

“We had 10 years to implement these commitments,” said Sareh Forouzesh, CDP’s associate director for forests. “We have not seen the progress we need.”

Back in 2010, the collection of CEOs who make up the Consumer Goods Forum signed a pledge to eliminate deforestation throughout their supply chains by 2020. As the years passed, the initiative gained momentum and hundreds more companies signed up. And in 2014, more businesses doubled down with the New York Declaration on Forests. Some of the corporate giants who promised they were going to make big changes — like Cargill, McDonald’s, and Walmart — could have made a real difference. These are companies with the market power to force change worldwide. But they didn’t even hit their own targets.

Forests provide habitat for endangered species like orangutans, and th... Read more

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