Colombia, the new palm diesel frontier

April 22, 2020

T&E’s award-winning documentary gives voice to local communities that are fighting hard to reclaim their land in Colombia while exposing the major pitfalls of biofuels policy across the globe. Watch it here.

Colombia is the world’s fourth biggest palm oil producer, the first one in the Americas. Around 70% of Colombia’s palm oil consumption is in the form of biodiesel for cars and trucks.

Europe is the main export destination for Colombian palm oil. Fedepalma, the palm lobby group in the country, has actively lobbied against the EU decision to label palm oil biodiesel as unsustainable and to phase-out its use progressively as from 2023.

Biofuels were meant to be ‘green’ and reduce emissions from transport. But the increased demand for land to grow crops for EU biofuels has led to deforestation and draining of peatland, which releases CO2 into the atmosphere. This makes the cure worse than the disease.

Nico Muzi, co-director of Frontera Invisible, said: ‘Frontera Invisible is a stark reminder of the social and environmental impacts of palm oil production for biodiesel consumption. There’s a unique opportunity this year for EU governments to put an end to this madness when transposing into national law the EU delegated act on high-deforestation biofuels. We urge ministers and parliamentarians to eliminate public support for palm diesel as soon as possible and include soy, another biofuel crop driving deforestation.’

Watch the 28-minute documentary here: