Palm oil industry identified as major cause of forest destruction

The European Parliament voted in favour of a report calling on the EU to stop funding and contributing to deforestation. The report recognises the driving forces behind deforestation, in particular agricultural expansion and the production of palm oil. There were 640 votes in favour of the report, 18 against and 28 abstentions.

Sebastien Risso, Greenpeace EU forest policy director, said: “The Parliament is right to recognise the huge responsibility that the EU has to stop deforestation, and how important this is for climate action and sustainable development. We are at one minute to midnight – the European Commission must not lose more time in putting forward an EU action plan to make Europe a deforestation-free economy and turn the tide on global forest destruction.”

The parliamentary report adopted today:

  • Identifies the drivers of deforestation, highlights the crucial role of forests for climate mitigation and sustainable development, and the commitments made by the EU to take action to preserve and restore forests.

  • Analyses the magnitude of the environmental and social impacts resulting from palm oil production, and the particular responsibility of the EU.

  • Recognises that industry self-regulation is not enough to stop deforestation, and points to the weak standards and enforcement levels of the main certification schemes for sustainable palm oil.

  • Recognises that it is possible to produce palm oil in a responsible way, e.g. with the use of the High-Carbon Stock approach and the standards developed by the Palm Oil Innovation Group.

  • Calls on the European Commission to develop an EU action plan on deforestation which would include concrete regulatory measures to make EU supply chains and financial transactions deforestation-free.

  • Calls for a phase-out, by 2020, of the use of biofuels based on vegetable oils.

  • Calls on the European Commission and EU member states to provide support to developing countries for implementing environmentally and socially responsible production practices, and for securing the rights and livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities.

Contact: 

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, pressdesk.eu@greenpeace.org

Sebastien Risso, Greenpeace EU forest policy director: +32 (0)496 12 70 09, srisso@greenpeace.org

For breaking news and comment on EU affairs: www.twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU

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