Page last updated at 17:09 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Bid to ban sale of illegally logged timber approved

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A bid to ban the sale of illegally logged timber in the UK has been approved by the Commons.

Shadow climate change minister Gregory Barker introduced his Illegally Logged Timber (Prohibition of Retail, Wholesale and Distribution) Bill on 16 March 2010 under the ten minute rule motion.

Mr Barker said the world's rainforests were the "green lungs of the planet", but he warned that the CO2 emissions from their destruction annually accounted for about 17.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

"That is more than the whole global aviation and transport sector put together," he said. "Without urgent action to halt deforestation, we haven't a chance of beating global climate change."

Mr Barker said the government had refused to legislate on the matter and EU action would not go far enough.

His bill was given a formal first reading but stands no chance of becoming law due to lack of parliamentary time ahead of the general election.

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