April 17, 2018
In January the European Parliament (EP) voted to ban palm oil for the production of biofuels in the European Union (EU) by 2020. The vote was, inter alia, based on the argument that the deforestation of rainforests mainly in Southeast Asia is driven by the increased use of palm oil for biodiesel for the EU market. There is indeed unfortunately no doubt that in palm growing countries the deforestation is taking place.
However, the crucial question is, if a ban of palm oil for one comparatively small market section (only around four percent of the global palm oil goes into European biodiesel) can reduce deforestation and stop exploitation of workers on plantations and indigenous people.
Prof. Gernot Klepper of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, and Chairman of the ISCC e.V. Board has analysed the effects of the proposed palm oil ban for biofuels and who would be likely to win or loose.
Does a ban of palm oil in European biodiesel reduce deforestation?
Can it stop the exploitation of local communities?
Will it improve the climate friendliness of biofuels?