There exist serious concerns regarding the production of plantation crops on
lands cleared of ancient rainforests for production of biodiesel in Europe in
particular. For example, remaining natural orangutan habitat and their
rainforest ecosystems in Southeast Asia are threatened by the
unsustainable harvesting of palm oil for the use of biofuels. Ecological
Internet has been instrumental in highlighting the threat to rainforests posed
by biofuel crops, and as a result many groups are now campaigning on the issue.
This alert supports the efforts of Regenwald in Germany and Biofuelwatch in the
The campaign to stop Europe's "Deforestation Biofuel" Energy Policy is now at an
important decision point, as the European Commission is expected to finalize the
"Biomass Action Plan" policy by January 10th for biofuels sourced from
plantations cleared from ancient rainforests. Earlier the European Parliament
voted on the plan, and though they acknowledged a lack of clear environmental
standards and safeguards could have significant negative effects, such as an
increase in tropical deforestation and agriculture intensification and
biodiversity losses in Europe and abroad, while failing to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions significantly; they still voted for rapid market expansion before
safeguards are put in place.
The European Parliament also voted to abolish compulsory conservation set-asides
in Europe - even though it has been shown that agricultural intensification for
biofuels will cause a large-scale decline in biodiversity across Europe.
Finally, the European Parliament reportedly voted to class peat as a long-term
renewable form of energy and biomass. Peat has as much or more carbon per ton as
other fossil fuels, and clearly should not be classed as renewable energy.
Please tell the European Commission now that they must prevent biofuels from
causing ever greater deforestation, biodiversity losses, and evictions and
impoverishment of local communities both in tropical rainforests and
Europe. Unrestrained industrial biofuel expansion will accelerate, not slow down
climate change, as peatlands, rainforests, forests and croplands across the
world are converted to energy crop monocultures and release their carbon in the
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Biofuels from Cleared Rainforests Harm the Climate
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