The EU’s Palm Oil & Deforestation Resolution: Is It Bad Legislative Work?

On April 4, 2017, the European Parliament (EP) approved a Resolution by 640 votes to 18, with 28 abstentions. The adopted text carries the title: “Palm Oil and Deforestation of Rainforests” (henceforth “the Resolution”). The purported overall goal of the Resolution is new regulation on the importation and use of palm oil in the European Union (EU) to avoid deforestation in the tropics. To achieve this, various measures are proposed, most importantly the ban of palm oil in biofuels, switching to a single EU-wide sustainability certification and allowing only palm oil thus certified to be imported after the year 2020. Despite its declared goal to better protect the earth´s natural patrimony, the Resolution disregards the needs and well-being of dependent communities in the producer countries. By adopting it – with an overwhelming majority – European MPs have decided they must show their hands in the heart of palm producer nations. With their vote, they have driven out truth and objective facts and instead rubber stamped an action that promises to revert small oil palm farmers to abject poverty while denying them Europe as a marketplace.