Biofuels threaten rainforests as important European Commission decision lies ahead
Action Alert from Forests.org
by Dr. Glenn Barry
October 1, 2005
Dr. Glenn Barry, the activist behind Forests.org and ClimateArk, sent out an Action Alert calling for the European Commission to reject a plan to use biofuels that contribute to rainforest destruction, notably palm oil and soybean oil. His message, displayed below, asks for readers to send an email message to the Director General of Energy and Transport for the European Commission.
Europe's rush to oil palm and soya biomass as source of renewable energy misguided and unsustainable
To meet Kyoto protocol commitments, various European and other governments are encouraging the use of biomass as fuel (biofuel) in transport and electricity. Biofuels are mostly carbon neutral, and switching from fossil fuels to biodiesel is promoted as a solution to climate change.
Rainforests will be threatened by increased demand for agricultural products to be raised on once forested lands, and by use of forest biomass as a fuel. An unregulated rush to biofuels will lead to more natural rainforest loss and fragmentation, increased pressures upon endangered primary forests, and more monoculture, herbicide laden and genetically modified tree plantations.
China funds massive palm oil plantation in rainforest of Borneo August 12, 2005
Plans to create the world's largest palm oil plantation along Indonesia's mountainous border with Malaysia could have a devastating impact on the forests, wildlife and indigenous people of Borneo, warns World Wildlife Fund.
Brazil's growth as agricultural giant has cost -- LA Times August 22, 2005
The Los Angeles Times featured an article on Brazil's drive to become an agricultural giant. The country's breakneck growth has made it the world's biggest exporter of many agricultural products, but at a cost: some of Brazil's richest ecological areas have been plowed under for crops. Brazil has the highest biological diversity of any country on Earth.
There exists an opportunity to influence European imports of oil palm in particular, as the European Commission is currently studying the matter. Clearly Europe and world should invest more strongly in energy from wind and sun, not in carelessly creating, stimulating and subsidizing new international palm oil and soya export markets.
Western countries must do better than destroying tropical rainforests to meet their Kyoto goals. Take action now at: http://forests.org/action/alert.asp?id=biofuel
This is a modified release from Forests.org. The original version appears at http://forests.org/action/alert.asp?id=biofuel