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Norway Is The First Country To Ban Palm Oil Based Biofuel

Norway is the first country to enforce a ban on palm oil-based biofuel. The nation’s parliament announced last week that it will no longer be permitted in Norway. The move aims to thwart the destruction of Indonesian rainforests razed for palm oil plantations. The country’s biofuel industry will have until 2020 to phase out the oil.

Nils Hermann Ranum of Rainforest Foundation Norway said in a statement:

“The Norwegian parliament’s decision sets an important example to other countries and demonstrates the need for a serious reform of the world’s palm oil industry.”

Products that you spread on your toast may be contributing to orangutan habitat loss

They expect that other countries are soon going to follow Norway’s lead. Currently, the EU is also working toward a phase-out of products using palm oil by 2030. The thing is, palm oil isn’t just found in biofuel; it is also used in a range of food and personal care items from pastries and peanut butter spreads to shampoos and soaps. For now, those items will still be permitted in Norway. The decision to remove palm oil from its biofuel industry alone took years of debate and discussion before it was finally voted on to stop the government from purchasing palm-based biofuel.

Endangered orangutans are dying everyday as a result of deforestation

The votes luckily garnered a majority vote by parliament extending to the country’s entire fuel market, urging the government to “formulate a comprehensive proposal for policies and taxes in the biofuels policy in order to exclude biofuels with high deforestation risk.”

Why Is It Important To Stop Deforestation?

The Bornean rainforests are home to endangered orangutans

The rainforests of the Bornean forests in Indonesia (and other locations around the world) are being destroyed for the production of palm oil. Borneo is especially critical as it is the only region where endangered orangutans are found in the wild. Their numbers are rapidly declining as forests are burned so palm plantations can take their place.

The orangutan population and their habitat loss are not the only things suffering from the escalating demands for palm oil. The deforestation is taking a toll on the climate as well. The current demands could lead to 7 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions produced over the next two decades according to recent estimates.

Don't Palm Us Off international campaign to stop deforestation as a result of the palm industry

All of that can be avoided if demands for palm oil is drastically reduced or eliminated. That’s what Norway’s going for by banning palm oil-based biofuel. They’ve focused on that one product first since Norway’s Rainforest Foundation commissioned a 2017 report on palm oil-based biofuels and found them to be more damaging to the climate than fossil fuels, “perhaps several times worse.”

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