This week, two Indonesian activists came to Brussels to speak to MEPs and policymakers to highlight the devastating impact that EU biofuels policy is having on their country.
Deforestation and land grabbing
Indonesia has some of the most biodiverse rainforest in the world. Yet it is now the world's premier site of deforestation, driven by the rapid expansion of palm oil plantations.
EU energy ministers voted today to limit biofuels to 7% of Europe's transport energy in an attempt to prevent biofuels competing with food and causing deforestation.
Land the size of Poland and Sweden combined will be needed to produce crops and wood for Europe's bioenergy needs by 2030, new research released today reveals.
Deutsche Bank has told Friends of the Earth Europe and Rettet den Regenwald that it sold its shares in the Indonesian palm oil supplier Bumitama, an important supplier to palm oil giant Wilmar, following months of campaigning by the two groups. Despite numerous promises to clean up its act, Bumitama continues to produce illegal palm oil.
Wilmar International, one of the world's largest palm oil traders, continue their abusive practices of deforestation and land-grabbing, despite promises to stop, according to new research from Friends of the Earth in Indonesia, Liberia, Uganda and Nigeria.
Anne van Schaik, from Friends of the Earth Europe, visits Indonesia to meet with palm oil company Wilmar to highlight the devastating environmental and social impacts of palm oil production.
On March 5th the Jogbahn community, from Grand Bassa County in central Liberia, celebrated a major step forward in the struggle to save their land from being grabbed by British palm oil company Equatorial Palm Oil PLC. But, they are in imminent danger unless we act now to help protect their land.
Wilmar International, the world's largest palm oil trader, recently bowed to civil society pressure and committed to cut out deforestation, peat land destruction and the exploitation of human rights from its supply chain. This comes after years of land-grabbing, according to Friends of the Earth Europe, fuelling conflicts, the destruction of endangered habitats, and human rights abuses.
European Union energy chiefs failed today to limit the quantities of 'food based' biofuels allowed in Europe in a key debate in Brussels. The outcome means that plans to prevent biofuels competing with food will be further delayed, pushing more people into hunger and leading to further deforestation.
This Friday (November 29) a crucial meeting will take place in Brussels which is likely to determine the fate of the EU's controversial biofuels policy.
The meeting between all EU ambassadors will aim to reach an agreement on how to reform Europe's failing biofuels policy, which Europe's energy ministers will then 'rubber stamp' when they vote on December 12.