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Siti Safura Masiron


World Economic Forum (blog)



Could the EU's ban on palm oil in biofuels do more harm than good?

08.10.2019 (World Economic Forum (blog) - In an era where trade wars and tariffs are commonplace, it is often the case that developing countries are held to double standards by Western nations. Commodities are among the pawns of political trade wars - and palm oil is no different. While palm oil is controversial from a sustainability perspective, the EU’s plans to ban its use in biofuels by 2030 is part of the problem.

The fight against climate change is a global imperative best solved through collaboration - but rather than working together, the EU’s ban threatens our best weapons against climate change: cooperation and global solidarity.

Palm oil biofuel was once seen as the best way to fight climate change, even by the EU, but it is now seen purely as a contributor to deforestation. The EU ban on palm oil favours alternative crops like rapeseed and soybeans that are grown in Europe as a source of oil for biofuel. However, these alternative crops require much more land to generate the same amount of oil as palm plantations, and they store less CO2 than palm oil. Rapeseed, for example produces four to 10 times less oil than palm oil per unit of land and requires more fertilizer and pesticides. Net palm oil production is more efficient in preventing climate change through biofuel than alternative crops.