The European Union is quietly but determinedly preparing a new rule that is designed to block palm oil exports from Africa and Asia out of the EU market. The EU’s actions on palm oil risk trade and investment in Africa, writes Thompson Ayodele. Thompson Ayodele is director of Initiative for Public Policy Analysis, an independent public policy think-tank in Lagos, Nigeria. In July this year, after 18 months of fractious debate, the various arms of the European Union declared they would allow palm oil – arguably the rich world’s most hated vegetable oil – to continue to be accepted as part of the EU’s renewable energy mix. However, that is not the end of the story. The EU has put in place a caveat. The European Commission will determine which biofuels it considers to be ‘high risk’ or ‘low risk’ in terms of ‘indirect land use change’ in ‘high carbon stock’ areas. ‘Indirect land use change’ is the proposition that when demand for one commodity goes up, demand for secondary commodities goes up too. The stinger is that any deforestation caused by the secondary commodities should be attributed to the first commodity. The European Commission has knocked back using ILUC… Read full this story
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