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

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

The Green Development Oil Newsletter – Issue 28 February 2013

WWF attacks Asian palm oil; Supported by Indian domestic oilseed interests

WWF has initiated a campaign attacking palm oil imports from South-East Asia into India, claiming that palm oil is a key driver of deforestation, and Indian imports of the commodity are driving biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas emissions through peat burning. The claims are either gross exaggerations or false. Meanwhile the foreword of the report was written by a businessman with commercial interests in domestic palm oil production, suggesting protectionist intentions. Continue reading

World Growth Press Release: €270 million EU-UK ‘green aid’ program will destroy jobs in developing countries and break international trade laws

International anti-poverty group World Growth says a EU-UK aid program to stop so-called illegal logging in developing countries will cause job losses across Africa and Asia, and is likely to break international trade laws. Continue reading

World Growth in the media – Economic situation in EU becomes one of the most widely discussed topics of Davos forum

PenzaNews, 4 February 2013

World Growth Ambassador Alan Oxley provided expert commentary to PenzaNews on the European Crisis and the ability of the World Economic Forum’s participants to understand the issues at hand.

“The Head of the Swiss based bank UBS warned about the complacency over the debt crisis in Europe. The perspective in the rest of the world is that only two options are realistic in Europe – a huge destruction of wealth, the like of which has not been seen for 70 years, or spreading the burden of the debt workout across the people of Europe, flattening growth for a decade or more. The mood at Davos seems to suggest this is not fully understood,” said Ambassador Oxley.

Read the full story here.

Revising the Equator Principles: Why Banks should not become the New Sustainability Regulators of Emerging Markets

On 13 August 2012 a draft of the updated Equator Principles (EP) was released for stakeholder consultation and public comment. This latest revision of the EP is a marked attempt to dramatically alter the role of financial institutions in emerging markets, from financiers to sustainability regulators. Continue reading