Tell the EU: Palm Plantations Aren’t Forests!
February 8, 2010
A leaked document reveals that the European Union wants to require member states to use biofuel from destructive palm plantations — and to do that it wants to define plantations as “forests”
An alert from Rainforest Rescue
European Union renewable energy legislation states that 10% of all road transport fuel in the EU will need to be “renewable” by 2020. Unfortunately this means biofuels, many of which are causing rainforest destruction and making climate change worse.
Biodiesel from palm oil is one of the worst offenders. Palm oil plantations for food and fuel are the primary cause of rainforest destruction in Indonesia and Malaysia. Biodiesel from palm oil is extremely likely to produce higher greenhouse gas emissions than conventional diesel, thereby making climate change worse not better.
The EU claims that only “sustainable” biofuels will meet the grade and be eligible to count towards the 10% target. However, a leaked draft document from the European Commission shows that it wants to call palm oil plantations “forest” so that razing rainforest to plant oil palm would not count as a change in land use.
The Commission says “This means…that a change from forest to oil palm plantation would not per se constitute a breach of the criterion”. The Commission also confirms in this draft document that “Member States may not set additional criteria of their own. They may not exclude biofuels/bioliquids on sustainability grounds where these meet the sustainability criteria laid down in the Directive.” Taken together, these two statements imply that the Commission plans to force biodiesel from palm oil onto member states.
Write to the new Energy Commissioner (Günter Oettinger) and Environment Commissioner (Janez Potocnik) and ask them to amend their policy and this draft document so that palm oil does not form part of the EU’s supposedly sustainable energy mix.
The leaked draft document from the EU Commission is available here
Send a letter of protest from the Rainforest Rescue website.