The European Union (EU) has taken on board the wishes of over 650,000 Europeans, and a Europe-wide coalition of environmental organisations, and decreed that palm oil is not a green fuel, and should not be promoted due to its undeniable and severe contributions to deforestation.
After several months of public pressure from environmentalists and many ordinary citizens, palm oil will be phased out of European biodiesel by 2030, although environmental campaigners are dissatisfied that certain exceptions still remain. SumOfUs, a global consumer group behind a petition calling for the EU to take this action, argues that these exceptions will weaken the impact that the act will have on protecting rainforests and the endangered species that live there, such as orangutans.
Under intense pressure from palm oil lobbyists, including the Malaysian and Indonesian governments, the EU left in loopholes that will allow some palm oil to be promoted as a “green” road fuel.
“Thanks to public pressure from over 650,000 Europeans, the European Commission has been forced to confront the palm oil lobby and take most palm oil out of biodiesel, because it causes the destruction of rainforests, worsens climate chaos and pushes endangered species like the orangutans to the brink of extinction” said Rebecca Falcon, Campaign Manager at SumOfUs. “SumOfUs members across Europe signed a petition of over 650,000 signatures, and participated in the Commission’s public consultation to send a clear message: Europeans won’t stand for deforestation in our tanks.”
Ms Falcon added that the fight isn’t over and that because the Commission failed to outlaw all palm oil in our tanks, SumOfUs members will keep holding European governments to higher standards against fake ‘green’ fuels, like France which recently decided to outlaw any palm oil in biodiesel.