Over half the palm oil used in Europe is actually put into gas tanks.
In her post 25 sneaky names for palm oil, Melissa noted that it is in everything from snack food to shampoo to biofuel. But she didn't say how much was used for biofuel, and it is shocking. According to Transport and the Environment, more than half of the palm oil imported into Europe goes into diesel fuel.
The European Union required vegetable oils to be added to diesel because it was considered to be a renewable resource, but in fact it is three times as bad as the fossil diesel because of land use change emissions. A law was passed in the European Parliament recognizing the harm it is doing, but that evidently isn't the end of the matter; the European Commission opposed the palm oil phaseout and the Indonesian and Malaysian governments are busy lobbying.
Forcing motorists to burn palm oil in their cars because it’s supposedly green is appalling. It’s been a disaster for rainforests and wildlife, and it’s a major public relations disaster too. This new law voted today gives the Commission three months to put an end to European governments subsidising the highest emitting biofuels such as palm oil and soy in diesel. The ball is now firmly in the European Commission’s court.
Really, between the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the increasing understanding of particulate pollution, and now this, it is apparent that diesels are just a total disaster for both humans and orangutans.
Another non-profit, SumOfUs, is running a petition which you can sign here.