HomeConsum-actorsEU, another 10 years of palm biodiesel

EU, another 10 years of palm biodiesel

The UE reached an agreement for the very slow exclusion del palm twigs biodiesel. No more by 2020, as requested by the European Parliament itself, which participated in the agreement, but by 2030. La LOBBY of the palmocrats they got the better of the common good. Easy game in this Europe. Shame!

Renewable energies and palm oil, European objectives at the service of Asian palmocrats

The Directive on Energy Rinnovabili (Renewable Energies Directive, cd RED II), part of the package 'Clean energy for all Europeans', was adopted by means of an agreement - reached on 14.06.2018 - between the European Commission, the Member States and the Strasbourg Parliament.

A binding target of 32% renewable energy - which all EU Member States will have to achieve by 2030, with an upward revision clause to be agreed by 2023 - is at the heart of the agreement. With a view to achieving the objectives against climate change set by the Paris Agreement.

La gradual elimination ofPalm oil from biodiesel it is also required by the directive. However, foreseeing a limit - not to exceed the quotas of tropical oil in bio-fuels - which is reportedly well known not to the status quo, but to the productions that will be reached in 2019 (!).

Thus a further race is envisaged to the production and use of this unsustainable raw material, in the next 18 months, in view of its slow abandonment in the following decade. Until complete elimination, for energy uses, by 2030.

Palm oil, biodiesel and other uses. The responsibilities of Europe

The first directive on renewable energy, RED I, was approved by'European Union in 2009. E introduced, to the transport sector, un obiettivo d'' use by 2020 of 10% of renewable energy which also included thepalm oil among the raw materials that can be used in biodiesel.

The consequences were tragic, to the point that the use of tropical oil in biodiesel went from 8% to 48% between 2010 and 2016. (1) Global palm consumption continued to grow at a rapid pace, despite the reactions of ConsumAttori who - thanks also to the petition launched by Great Italian Food Trade and the food fact - they asked loudly its elimination from food and cosmetic products. In Italia, come in other European countries.

The European institutions they have already had a primary responsibility in stirring up the demand for this unsustainable fat. The growing supply of which has spilled over into the production of fuels, as well as all types of consumer goods. From detergents to shampoos and soaps, cosmetics and lipsticks, confectionery and baked goods, frying oils, ice creams, food additives (e.g. mono and diglycerides of fatty acids), petfood and more.

The EU-Indonesia trade agreementmoreover, it could also reduce duties on palm trees. So at least in the intentions of the Juncker Commission, to which it is addressed a special one petition to prevent this abomination.

Meanwhile, on the shelves of European supermarkets - despite the virtuous examples of national GDO champions, such as Coop Italy is first he eliminated the palm tree by all its branded products, followed by other groups in France, Spain e England - one in two products still contains palm oil.

Palm oil, violence, abuse and ecocide

Le human rights violations related to palm production are moreover widely documented by numerous organizations. Robbery of the lands - that is to say, violent deportation of human communities from their lands (2) - and other abuses, including against minors themselves forced to work in conditions of slavery. (3)

An example, to describe the cd land grabbing. Mekar Jaka (Langkat district, North Sumatra, Indonesia), 2017. An entire community is violently torn from the lands where it has lived for generations, to make way for new palm crops by the Malaysian company Langkat Nusantara Kepong. A thousand soldiers involved, 554 hectares of land robbed in a few shots. The latest action on March 27, 2017, when seventy houses were razed to the ground.

Tropical forest fires, triggered by palmocrats to extend intensive monocultures, in turn have driven air pollution in Southeast Asia to apocalyptic levels. Causing outright genocides, which are expressed in approximately 100.300 premature deaths from respiratory diseases in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in 2015 alone. (4)

Le greenhouse gas emissions they are therefore just some of the 'side effects' on the rest of the planet of the extension of oil palm monocultures. In 2015 Indonesia has tripled its emissions, even surpassing the US and China.

'We now have even more evidence that climate change is caused not just by burning coal and oil for transport and energy, but by the industrial food system itself and the corporate quest for profits that drives its expansion. Indeed, climate change and land grabs are inextricably linked '. (5)

Mwhile Europe sleeps, the disaster continues. In Papua New Guinea over 5,5 million hectares of forests have gone up in smoke in the last ten years and only 5% of the natural habitat has resisted ecocide. (6) 50% in Borneo, where deforestation presses at an average annual rate of 3,9%.

Last but not least, the large animals some earthly paradises are in danger of extinction, due to the palmocrats. More than 1999 orangutans were killed in Borneo between 2015 and 100.000, over half of the entire population. The elephant and the Sumatran rhinoceros are in turn 'hanging from a vine', a few dozen surviving specimens. Commissioner Juncker will perhaps dedicate a cultural center to it, as it has already done for food fraud. A circus indeed suits him, even better without animals.

Dario Dongo and Giulia Torre


  1. Transport & Environment, May 2018

  2. https://www.farmlandgrab.org/post/view/27037-peasants-l-in-mekar-jaya-the-hometown-of-agrarian-reform-in-indonesia-razed-down-by-a-plantation-firm

  3. V. Amnesty International, report 'The great palm oil scandal', November 2016

  4. V. Greenpeace, report 'The moment of truth', March 2018

  5. See Grain, report 'The global farmland grab in 2016: how big, how bad?', 14.6.16

  6. The data comes from research by journalists The Great JD (on YouTube) and Bernard Genier (RTS), who traveled to Borneo and documented their mission in a video produced by Swiss Radio Television (RTS), on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSm9Mw_VIb4 31.05.2018. The reported information is confirmed by the works of David Gaveau (Center for International Forestry Research), which has analyzed thousands of satellite images of the Borneo area, from the 70s to today

  7. In this regard, see the research by Maria Voigt et alias, 'Global Demand for Natural Resources Eliminated More Than 100,000 Bornean Orangutans', its Cell - Current Biology, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.01.053

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