Trade and Environment Newsletter: Issue 18, March 2013

US blending credit for alternative fuels encourages palm oil imports

A US blending tax credit for biofuels could see palm biodiesel exports to the US from South East Asia increase markedly. At $1 a gallon, or $300 per tonne, the credit would reportedly will make palm oil derived biodiesel competitive with petroleum diesel in the US. Palm oil prices are currently cheaper than US soyoil mainly due to high inventories in major producers Malaysia and Indonesia. Continue reading

The Green Development Oil Newsletter – Issue 29, March 2013

EU energy ministers question Commission proposal to expand GhG emission coverage of RED

EU energy ministers and industry have questioned a draft European Commission proposal to amend the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The Commissions’ draft directive would introduce reporting requirements for emissions from Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) into EU rules on eligibility of biofuel feedstock for recognition in EU biofuel consumption targets. Continue reading

Press Release: New Report Details Harm to Small Farmers of WWF Palm Oil Campaign

 Fresh concerns raised over WWF push for high cost sustainability standards – A campaign by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) to impose onerous and costly sustainability palm oil standards on small farmers in South East Asia will not materially improve the environment and only reduce their commercial viability, according to pro-development NGO, World Growth.

In a new report, World Growth has detailed how the cost of adopting the standards in the WWF sustainability system (known as RSPO – Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) would push small holders out of global markets.   Continue reading

New Report: Smallholders – Costs and Challenges of Small-Farmer Certification

In June 2012, members of the United Nations reconfirmed the UN consensus on sustainable development which was adopted at the Rio Earth Summit 20 years ago.  It stipulates that action to ensure sustainability should go hand in hand with action to raise living standards.

A campaign to require smallholders to be certified as RSPO-compliant breaches that consensus.  It elevates environmental outcomes over economic outcomes, undermining national strategies to raise living standards.  It also requires producers to disregard national policies set by governments.

It is being run by large ENGOs, in particular WWF; and prominent food retailers who have a commercial stake in reducing the attractiveness of palm oil in food processing.  Continue reading