How oil palm produced in Indonesia ends up in Europe’s transport and electricity systems

DTE 96-97, December 2013

DTE 93-94, December 2012

Agrofuels are often promoted by the agrofuels industry, investors and government officials as a means of providing livelihoods for rural communities, but how does this square with the fact that agrofuels are part of the landgrabbing problem in countries like Indonesia?

Down to Earth No.84, March 2010

There was a time when public debates around palm oil centred mainly on food ingredients and cosmetics. Today the focus of the debate has shifted to the use of palm oil for electricity and heat generation as well as for transport.

In the last couple of months the UK has seen a nation-wide wave of planning applications for agrofuels-based power stations. Two energy companies W4B Renewable Energy and Vo-gen, mention palm oil as fuel source in their applications, while others have not legally ruled it out.

Down to Earth No.82, September 2009

European countries are turning to agrofuels for energy and transport as part of their strategy to move away from fossil fuels and meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. The use of palm oil as an agrofuel source has drawn strong criticism due to the severe social, environmental and negative climate change impacts, which contradict industry claims that it is a 'green' fuel.

Down to Earth No.79, November 2008

Indonesian organisations have circulated the following information about the impact of the global credit crunch and falling palm oil prices on peasant farmers in the province Jambi, Sumatra. Translation from the Indonesian by DTE.

Since palm oil became 'the golden crop' around the year 2000, the European market for this commodity has grown year on year, not only to satisfy demand from the food and cosmetics industries, but also as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels.

Down to Earth No.76-77, May 2008

The UK government and the European Union are pressing ahead with policies to increase agrofuel* use for energy - despite evidence of serious harm to the climate and communities - due to concerns about climate change, rising prices of fossil fuels and energy security.1

Down to Earth No.75, November 2007

Evidence from local and international NGOs about the impacts of large-scale oil palm plantations on the environment and communities has made some buyers and parliamentarians in Europe realise that palm oil is not the 'green', sustainable product the industry claims.