January 21, 2019
Actions in Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, and Rome urge European lawmakers to abandon Palm Oil due to severe deforestation, species endangerment
Today, #NotInMyTank activists from across Europe rallied in Paris, Berlin, and Brussels to demand that the European Commission phase-out palm oil in biodiesel fuel in a delegated act by a February 1st deadline.
The demonstrations featured petition deliveries with a combined total of over 500,000 signatures in each city, citing concern over near extinction of many species, including orangutans, caused by deforestation due to Palm Oil extraction. The groups responsible for organizing today’s events include SumOfUs, Greenpeace, Les Amis de la Terre, Canopée, Action Climat, One Voice, Deutsche Umwelthilfe and more.
VIEW PHOTOS FROM PARIS, BERLIN AND BRUSSELS HERE: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmztgdtL
In a poll of 4,500 Europeans conducted in nine countries by Ipsos , 82% of citizens surveyed were not aware of the fact that diesel fuel has palm oil added to it. When asked whether they would support measures to end policy support and subsidies for palm oil in biodiesel in Europe, 69% of respondents said they would welcome the change, with only 14% against it and 16% with no opinion on the matter.
“Our day of action united people across Europe who are outraged to know there is conflict palm oil in their tanks,” said Fatah Sadaoui, Campaign Manager at SumOfUs. “The EU and its relationship with the palm oil industry are major contributors to rainforest destruction and species endangerment, pushing animals orangutans to the brink of extinction. Together, we are galvanizing to demand change from the European Commission; anything less is unacceptable. The European Commission has a choice: phase-out palm oil in biodiesel or face the environmental, social and political consequences.”
Last year, the #NotInMyTank coalition launched a petition, supported by the international consumer group SumOfUs, for the launch of their campaign, which has entailed a number of public initiatives culminating in Monday’s ‘European day of action’.
Palm oil expansion to feed cars in Europe drives deforestation and peatland drainage in Southeast Asia. Biodiesel made from palm oil is three times worse for the climate than fossil diesel. Last year, 51% of the palm oil used in Europe ended up in the tanks of cars and trucks. This makes drivers the top (albeit unaware) consumers of palm oil in Europe.
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SumOfUs.org is a global movement of consumers, investors, and workers all around the world, standing together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable and just path for our global economy.