Limiting the use of biofuels from food crops that can be used to fuel Europe's cars moved a step closer today after MEPs voted to reform the EU's biofuels policy.
EU law-makers voted once again to put a cap on the use of crops to make biofuels and also to account for their full climate impact. However the limit would still expand the use of food crops for fuel and would not end biofuels competing with food production.
Ahead of a crucial EU vote on capping biofuel quotas on Tuesday, almost 200 civil society organisations from across South East Asia and Latin America have called on EU decision-makers to halt the devastating impacts of EU biofuels policy on people and the environment.
Farmers in Uganda evicted by oil palm plantations are today presenting a lawsuit against a joint venture co-owned by the oil palm giant Wilmar International . They are claiming restitution for their grabbed land and fair compensation for damages, three years after their land was taken for plantation development.
Friends of the Earth International is backing the communities' land grab case, filed after three years of dialogue with the government and the company which has failed to bring them justice.
In January, Anne van Schaik, accountable finance campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe visited Uganda to talk with local communities and leaders on the effect of a palm oil plantation project in two islands in Lake Victoria and plan the next steps in a Friends of the Earth campaign against the financiers of landgrabbing.
Indonesian palm oil company Bumitama announced in September 2014 that it has terminated its contract with an illegal palm oil plantation in Borneo, from which it is no longer purchasing palm oil.
“Doing what we been doing for the last 50 years is no longer an option.” That’s how Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe, expressed the urgency of changing our relationship with the Earth’s resources at a conference in Brussels today.
In the Kalangala islands on Lake Victoria, Uganda, communities are being forced off their lands by a powerful alliance of corporations, international organisations and government power, all set on using the land for destructive oil palm production. Many of the citizens who comprise these communities have lost their livelihoods, and feel powerless to challenge the land-grabs.
The European Parliament today voted to approve the new European Commission, marking the start of a new political phase for the European Union.
The Green 10 alliance of leading environmental organisations calls on President Juncker and his team of Commissioners to give European citizens, and their future generations, a healthy, inclusive and environmentally sound place to live.
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.