In the Media
Emissions from palm oil biodiesel highest of major biofuels, says EU
January 30, 2012
Greenhouse gas emissions from palm oil-based biodiesel are the highest among major biofuels when the effects of deforestation and peatlands degradation are considered, according to calculations by the European Commission. The emissions estimates, which haven’t been officially released, have important implications for the biofuels industry in Europe.
But the findings are bound to be controversial. Emissions estimates depend heavily on assumptions on how biofuels are produced. Palm oil producers who have established plantations without converting rainforest or draining carbon-rich peatlands are bound to have lower emissions than those who destroyed forest.
The palm oil industry has traditionally opposed any effort to include indirect land use change in emissions estimates, arguing that environmental concerns over palm oil production is merely thinly veiled protectionism. Environmentalists and carbon scientists however usually disagree, arguing that conversion of forests and peatlands is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.
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Keywords: emissions, EU, oil palm, palm oil, peat forest, peatland