Greenpeace welcomes Swedish oil giant's decision not to use palm oil

Press release - November 1, 2007
Greenpeace welcomes the decision by Swedish petrol giant OKQ8 to abandon plans to use palm oil in their new biodiesel Eco20. The announcement comes after prolonged campaigning by Greenpeace and other environmental groups against palm oil production, which destroys native rainforest, often by burning, to make way for massive palm plantations.

OKQ8 was the first oil company in Europe to plan to launch palm oil biodiesel. Prior to their decision to abandon it, Greenpeace activists spent two days at OKQ8?s headquarters, hanging a seventy square metre banner depicting an orangutan being shot by a petrol pump, to highlight the true face of palm oil.

"OKQ8 has shown that they understand the problems of the exploding palm oil market for biofuels, now politicians must close the door to false climate solutions for good" said Anders Hellberg from Greenpeace in Sweden. "An important step is to remove subsidies for palm oil - if these are removed then oil companies will no longer have an economic incentive to invest in palm oil."

Greenpeace has set up a 'Forest Defenders Camp' in Indonesia, one of the countries most under threat from palm oil production. Volunteers at the camp have been working with local communities to dam peatland canals, to prevent them from drying out and releasing CO2, and to prevent palm oil companies from illegally burning them.

Frode Pleym, Forest Campaigner, Greenpeace Nordic and a volunteer at the Forest Defenders Camp said: "Over the last two weeks I have witnessed and documented rainforest being cut down, drained and burnt for the sake of oil palm plantations. There is quite simply no such thing as sustainable palm oil for biodiesel and OKQ8?s statement is therefore very important."

Greenpeace has set up the Forest Defenders Camp in the run up to the UN climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia this December where governments are expected to commit to agree a framework for the next two years of negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.

The deforestation rates in Indonesia are the fastest among the world's major forest nations. According to recent estimates, Indonesia has the third largest greenhouse gas emissions after the United States and China, mainly due to the destruction of peatland forests.

Greenpeace welcomes the decision by Swedish petrol giant OKQ8 to abandon plans to use palm oil in their new biodiesel Eco20. The announcement comes after prolonged campaigning by Greenpeace and other environmental groups against palm oil production, which destroys native rainforest, often by burning, to make way for massive palm plantations.

OKQ8 was the first oil company in Europe to plan to launch palm oil biodiesel. Prior to their decision to abandon it, Greenpeace activists spent two days at OKQ8?s headquarters, hanging a seventy square metre banner depicting an orangutan being shot by a petrol pump, to highlight the true face of palm oil.

"OKQ8 has shown that they understand the problems of the exploding palm oil market for biofuels, now politicians must close the door to false climate solutions for good" said Anders Hellberg from Greenpeace in Sweden. "An important step is to remove subsidies for palm oil - if these are removed then oil companies will no longer have an economic incentive to invest in palm oil."

Greenpeace has set up a 'Forest Defenders Camp' in Indonesia, one of the countries most under threat from palm oil production. Volunteers at the camp have been working with local communities to dam peatland canals, to prevent them from drying out and releasing CO2, and to prevent palm oil companies from illegally burning them.

Frode Pleym, Forest Campaigner, Greenpeace Nordic and a volunteer at the Forest Defenders Camp said: "Over the last two weeks I have witnessed and documented rainforest being cut down, drained and burnt for the sake of oil palm plantations. There is quite simply no such thing as sustainable palm oil for biodiesel and OKQ8?s statement is therefore very important."

Greenpeace has set up the Forest Defenders Camp in the run up to the UN climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia this December where governments are expected to commit to agree a framework for the next two years of negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.

The deforestation rates in Indonesia are the fastest among the world's major forest nations. According to recent estimates, Indonesia has the third largest greenhouse gas emissions after the United States and China, mainly due to the destruction of peatland forests.

ENDS

Other contacts: Kathleen McCaughey, Palm oil campaigner Greenpeace Nordic, tel. +46 702 35 08 86Suzette Jackson, Greenpeace International communications (at the Forest Defenders Camp) +62 813 1582 9513

Exp. contact date: 2007-10-31 00:00:00

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