Today, the European Parliament gave the green light to a new law that will force companies to ensure their supply chains meet various environmental and human rights standards.
The Corporate Sustainable Due Diligence Directive was supported in plenary, despite far-right opposition and last-minute EPP dissent.
The text adopted as the EP’s position for trilogue negotiations has huge potential for the climate: companies’ transition plans will be mandatory, evaluated based on strengthened criteria and include short, medium and long-term objectives. The EP position represents significant improvements in this area compared with the Commission and Council proposals.
Despite some effort to remove barriers to access to justice for victims of corporate abuse, the text falls short of being truly meaningful in this area, leaving the burden of proof on the shoulders of victims.
“The text adopted today is a landmark in the EU’s due diligence framework, despite political compromises that watered down the ambition and potential of harmonised environmental and human rights obligations for businesses. Although this position falls short of the expectation of many, it is the closest the EU has ever been to turning long-standing OECD standards into law and to ensuring justice for victims of corporate abuse and corporate accountability for environmental harm,” says Patrizia Heidegger, Director for EU Governance, Sustainability and Global Policies.
“After lengthy and difficult negotiations, we are one step closer to making businesses legally obligated to prevent, mitigate and end human rights and environmental harm throughout their value chains. The eyes of many EU citizens and CSOs will be on the Council, in the upcoming trilogues. The EU cannot fail to bring itself into step with international corporate due diligence standards and hold companies accountable for their harmful actions,” Stephane Arditi, Director for Climate, Circular Economy and Industry.