EU biofuels policy thrown into doubt as commissioner admits: targets may be missed

Last edited 14 January 2008 at 4:57pm
14 January, 2008

The environmental credentials of "first generation" biofuels were today thrown into serious doubt after the European commissioner, DEFRA's chief scientist and the Royal Society all expressed concern over their sustainability and effectiveness.

Last edited 1 January 1970 at 1:00am

"Biofuels can be good," says UN; scientists not so sure

Posted by jamie — 16 November 2007 at 6:22pm - Comments

The head of the UN Environment Programme has warned that the biofuel market could crash if suitable environmental standards aren't established. According to the BBC, "Achim Steiner... said there was an urgent need for standards to make sure rainforests weren't being destroyed." The story also picked out Indonesia's tropical peatlands for special mention of what it terms "biofuel folly". (Nice phrase, I'll have to remember that one!)

Mind you, Steiner was making those comments in response to an independent group of scientists who criticsied the stance taken by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on biofuels, which was described as "naive".

Palm oil: once you pop, you can't stop

Posted by jamie — 8 November 2007 at 10:55am - Comments

Vast oil palm plantations are destroying rainforests and peatlands in South East Asia

KitKat, Flora and Pringles are among the brands linked to destruction of forests and peatlands for palm oil © Greenpeace/Oka Budhi

If, as you read this, you're tucking into a KitKat or dipping into a tube of Pringles, you might be interested to know that they feature in our new report about the impact of the palm oil industry on tropical rainforests and climate change. Along with Flora margarine, these products contain palm oil which is linked to the destruction of forests and peatlands in Indonesia. As the report shows, it's a recipe for disaster.

FAQ: Palm oil, forests and climate change

Last edited 8 November 2007 at 10:44am

Forested peatlands cleared for oil palm plantations in Riau, Indonesia

Forested peatlands cleared for oil palm plantations in Riau, Indonesia © Greenpeace/Oka Budhi

Why is palm oil a problem?

The global palm oil industry is expanding rapidly: it's used in an increasing number of food and cosmetic products, while demands for its use in biofuels like biodiesel are set to soar in the near future. Tropical rainforests and peatlands, in South East Asia are being destroyed to make way for oil palm plantations. Not only is this a disaster for biodiversity and local communities, it will also release vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, accelerating climate change.

Palm oil

Last edited 5 November 2013 at 1:37pm

Demand for palm oil is growing - and fast. At the moment, most of it ends up in hundreds of food products - from margarine and chocolate to cream cheese and oven chips - although it's also used in cosmetics and increasingly, for use in biodiesel. But the cost to the environment and the global climate is devastating - to feed this demand, tropical rainforests and peatlands in South East Asia are being torn up to provide land for oil palm plantations.

Oil palm fruit

Fruit from the oil palm © Greenpeace/Solness

Cooking the Climate

Last edited 8 November 2007 at 9:42am
Publication date: 
8 November, 2007
Every year, 1.8 billion tonnes (Gt) of climate changing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are released by the degradation and burning of Indonesia’s peatlands – 4% of global GHG emissions from less than 0.1% of the land on earth. This report shows how, through growing demand for palm oil, the world’s largest food, cosmetic and biofuel industries are driving the wholesale destruction of peatlands and rainforests. These companies include Unilever, Nestlé and Procter & Gamble, who between them account for a significant volume of global palm oil use, mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia.
Download the report:

Last edited 1 January 1970 at 1:00am

Government introduces UK biofuel obligations without proper safeguards

Last edited 24 October 2007 at 6:11pm -
24 October, 2007

Petrol and diesel industry may be contributing to rainforest destruction

Responding to the introduction of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) last night, Greenpeace forest campaigner Belinda Fletcher said:

The Paradise Forests of South East Asia

Last edited 2 August 2007 at 11:08am

A traditional landowner from Papua New Guinea

Stretching right across South East Asia, from Sumatra and Borneo to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, the Paradise Forests form a wonderfully diverse region.

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