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Home » European Union (EU), Feedstocks, Field Crops, Opinions, Policy, Sustainability

Parliament Committee Says Palm Oil Biofuels Usage Should End by 2020

Submitted by on March 13, 2017 – 4:14 pmNo Comment

by Sarantis Michalopoulos (EurActiv)  MEPs adopted a report on Thursday (9 March) urging the European Commission to phase out the use of palm oil as a component of biodiesel by 2020 “at the latest”.

In November, the European Commission presented its draft proposal to review the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) for the post-2020 period as part of a Clean Energy Package (See background).

The European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) stressed in the report that industry could not prove with certainty that the palm oil in their supply chain is not linked to deforestation.

“The cultivation of palm oil over the last 20 years has been the cause of 20% of all deforestation,” the EU lawmakers pointed out, adding that in 2014, 46% of all palm oil imported into Europe was used as fuel for transport representing a 34% increase compared to 2010.

The report on Palm oil and deforestation of rainforests explains that the demand for palm oil will double by 2050, causing a severe environmental impact on countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Asian countries, as well as in Africa and Latin America.

Kateřina Konečná, an MEP from the European United Left-Nordic Green Left group (GUE/NGL), commented, “According to scientific studies, biodiesel from palm oil has three times the amount of emissions of conventional diesel. We, therefore, call on the Commission to phase out the use of palm oil as a component of biodiesel by 2020.”

“Banning palm oil in biodiesel is not the solution because it will simply be replaced by rapeseed or soy which also produce higher emissions than regular diesel because of indirect impacts. The only real solution is to stop all incentives that artificially create demand for vegetable oils in the transport sector,” the expert (Transport & Environment’s biofuels officer Cristina Mestre) added.

Reacting to the Parliament vote, the European renewable ethanol association (e-PURE) said that of a lot of the controversy surrounding biofuels is spilling over from the palm oil discussion.

Emmanuel Desplechin, Secretary General of ePURE, stressed that Europe needed sustainably-produced biofuels to meet its climate, energy and air-quality targets for transport.  READ MORE and MORE (Agra Europe) and MORE (Biofuels International) and MORE (European Parliament News; includes VIDEO)  Download paper

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