Why is palm oil biodiesel bad?

Palm oil production is one of the key drivers of rainforests destruction and wetland drainage in Southeast Asia and increasingly in South America – soy being the other oil crop directly associated with deforestation.

Palm oil and global warming

Almost all oil palm grows in areas that were once tropical forests, some of them quite recently (see map below). This environmental destruction threatens biodiversity and increases greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn drives global warming.

Deforestation means burning and chopping down trees that are the habitats of endangered species such as orangutans and elephants.

People living from and in those forests are being displaced or disowned, even murdered.

The real palm oil problem: it’s not just in your food, it’s in YOUR CAR too!

Despite all the efforts by food and cosmetics consumer brands not to use unsustainable palm oil, drivers in Europe are forced (most of the time without their knowledge) to fill up their diesel cars with palm oil biodiesel.

Yes, you read well: Drivers are the top consumers of palm oil in Europe. And drivers don’t know they are burning palm in their cars.

In fact, more than half of all imported palm oil is used to make biodiesel for European cars and trucks.

Since 2009 virtually all of the growth in biodiesel has come from imported palm oil.

Palm oil biodiesel is the worst of all biofuels. It releases three times the greenhouse gases emissions of fossil diesel.

A true scandal!

If the world were to follow Europe’s current thirst for palm oil biodiesel, 4,300,000 hectares of land in the tropics would be needed to quench it. That area is equal to the remaining rainforests and peatlands of Borneo, Sumatra and peninsular Malaysia.

But there’s light at the end of the tunnel

In January 2018, the European Parliament proposed to end public subsidies for the use of palm oil biofuels in 2021. If Europe were to end support for palm (and soy) oil, this would send a powerful signal to world markets, reduce demand for palm oil and force palm oil producing countries to get serious about ending deforestation, certification and sustainability.


But this is provoking a strong backlash, from a number of palm oil producing countries as well as some EU states that would rather sell fighter jets to Indonesia and Malaysia than stop burning palm oil.


The biggest threat now is a well-funded campaign by the palm oil lobby in Malaysia and Indonesia, which is exerting maximum diplomatic pressure on the Commission, European Parliament and national governments. Malaysia and Indonesia are threatening WTO complaints, trade retaliation a freeze on Airbus aircraft purchases) and terminating military cooperation. There are political negotiations between all EU governments and the European Parliament, and due to palm lobby pressure some European Heads of State want to trash MEPs position to end palm oil in diesel.

What can you do about palm oil biofuel?

Please tell your energy minister and the European Commission to stop this nonsense and get rid of subsidies for palm oil in biofuels!

PLEASE SIGN the PETITION HERE.

Comments

Jose's picture

Protejamos los bosques autóctonos!!

mosquitonick@gmail.com's picture

EU move is just a cynical attack to protect their own producers of vegetable oil, before the demise of diesel will eventually reduce demand for such biofuels.

mosquitonick@gmail.com's picture

EU move is just a cynical attack to protect their own producers of vegetable oil, before the demise of diesel will eventually reduce demand for such biofuels.

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