Sustainable palm oil?

Extract from http://www.greenpeae.org.uk

"Industry efforts to bring this deforestation under control have come through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). It was set up in 2001 to establish clear ethical and ecological standards for producing palm oil, and its members include high-street names like Unilever, Cadbury's, Nestlé and Tesco, as well as palm oil traders such as Cargill and ADM. Together, these companies represent 40 per cent of global palm oil trade.

But since then, forest destruction has continued. Many RSPO members are taking no steps to avoid the worst practices associated with the industry, such as large-scale forest clearance and taking land from local people without their consent. On top of this, the RSPO actually risks creating the illusion of sustainable palm oil, justifying the expansion of the palm oil industry.

Our investigations - detailed in our report Cooking The Climate - found evidence that RSPO members are still relying on palm oil suppliers who destroy rainforests and convert peatlands for their plantations. One member - Duta Palma, an Indonesian palm oil refiner - has rights to establish plantations on land which theoretically is protected by law.

There are ways to stop this. A moratorium on converting forest and peatland into oil palm plantations will provide breathing space to allow long-term solutions to be developed, while restoring deforested and degraded peatland provides a relatively cheap, cost effective way to make huge reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia. And governments around the world have to recognise the role deforestation plays in climate change, providing funds to help countries with tropical forests to protect their resources as well as reducing their own CO2 emissions."