Palm Oil restrictions to be implemented in Norway

Palm Oil and its derivatives will be heavily scrutinised as part of new parliamentary plans, which have been outlined in Norway this week.

As a result of the new measures, palm oil will no longer be purchased on behalf of the biofuel industry in Norway from 2020 onward.

The country has been carrying out examinations of palm oil, and its problematic supply chain, for some time, but the decision to eliminate it was decided as part of a ruling made on Monday, December 3rd. The Cerulogy and Rainforest Foundation Norway, a leading environmental consultancy in the country, recently reported thatunder current biofuel targets, global demand for palm oil will increase by six times over the next decade.”

The topic of palm oil and the damaging process of harvesting it, which results in habitat loss and deforestation, has become a poignant issue for campaigners over recent years.

Last month, supermarket chain Iceland were denied permission to use a campaign video which highlighted how the palm oil industry directly effects endangered orang-utans.

The aim of the Norwegian ruling is “to formulate a comprehensive proposal for policies and taxes in the biofuels policy in order to exclude biofuels with high deforestation risk”.

The Rang-Tan video, in which a little girl befriends an orphaned orangutan, was denied a television slot in the UK. The video has since gone viral, generating millions of views.

The Norwegian parliament’s decision sets an important example to other countries and demonstrates the need for a serious reform of the world’s palm oil industry.” – Nils Hermann Ranum, Rainforest Foundation Norway

One additional issue, aside from conservation of wildlife and natural areas, is that of carbon emissions caused by the cultivation and harvesting of palm oil.

Palm oil is used for a multitude of products, making it incredibly difficult to erase from the food chain. A Sustainable Palm Oil certificate is awarded to compliant participants in the scheme, however, some companies may simply rename it as ‘vegetable oil’ or ‘vegetable extract’.

Vigilance is required if palm oil is to be avoided. Online petitions are highlighting brands who use unsustainable, unethically sourced palm oil, and more certifications will certainly lead the way to a more transparent supply chain.

Additionally, whilst the EU has agreed to begin a process to attempt to phase out biofuels linked with deforestation and habitat destruction, it will not be in action until 2030.

Colin J McCracken
Colin J McCracken

Director and Executive Editor

Colin J McCracken is an Irish editor and writer of both fiction and journalism. Coming from a background in education and film, his passions are split between the environmental and the entertaining. Constantly striving for a more sustainable existence and trying to balance it while simultaneously buying too many books.