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Norway bans biofuel from palm oil to fight deforestation

Palm oil is used in virtually anything, from food to make-up industry, and the rapid expansion of palm plantations comes at the expense of tropical ecosystems, native populations, land degradation and carbon emissions.
While Norway is famous all over the world as the place to enjoy the Northern Aurora lights from, and as the Land of the Midnight Sun, owing to a few months of the year where the sun doesn’t set in a few places, it is currently making headlines for all the right reasons.
The Scandinavian country, peaceful, developed, aware and safe like most of its neighbours is taking giant strides for the protection of the planet. In its latest bid to fight deforestation, it isplanning to ban biofuel.
After coming down hard on deforestation in 2016 by banning it and most products that led to it, the country has funded multiple initiatives around the world to counter deforestation. The pledge to not use any product that led to deforestation was recommended as a part of the Action Plan on nature Diversity by their parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy and Environment.

Other countries should follow Norway and adopt commitments for zero deforestation, especially Germany and the UK, as they had joined it in pledging at the 2014 UN climate summit to encourage deforestation-free products.
The action against palm oil is particularly harsh as it contributes a lot to deforestation. Tropical forests in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Papua New Guinea are cut down for its production, increasing carbon emissions each year. These countries produce more than 80% of the world’s palm oil. The EU countries and EU-Free Trade Associate (EFTA) countries receive more than 12% of the palm oil exports from Malaysia, and a substantial portion of this is used as a substitute for crude oil for producing biofuel.
The Norwegian parliament voted, in December 2018, for a ban on biofuels based on palm oils. The government will start imposing taxes and making new policies to exclude biofuels related to deforestation from 2020.
The Norwegian market is very small, accounting for less than 1% of the total exports of palm oil. It has, however, set an example towards deforestation combatting policies based on the commercial markets. The entire European Union has agreed to ban palm oil’s use in motor fuels from 2021. If the other countries follow suit, we may have a chance of seeing a greener earth.

Norway bans biofuel from palm oil to fight deforestation Norway bans biofuel from palm oil to fight deforestation Reviewed by Joe on May 27, 2019 Rating: 5


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