Dura palm fruit used for palm oil production. Photo by Rhett Butler.
A leaked European Commission document setting standards for biofuels seems to suggest the palm oil industry’s efforts to buy influence in Europe are paying off.
The document states that conversion of rainforests for oil palm plantations to produced biofuels would not constitute a breach of the E.U.’s sustainability sustainability standards since plantations would be classified as forests.
Environmentalists are outraged. They note that oil palm plantations are biologically impoverished relative to even heavily logged forests and store far less carbon.
The draft document comes after heavily lobbying from the Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil industries.
Britain is expected to fight the proposed text.
For more on the story, check out: EU: rainforests can be converted to palm oil plantations for biofuel production.
[Note: this post was originally titled: Has the palm oil industry “bought” the EU?]