“Morally Indefensible” Anti-Palm Oil Campaigns Threaten World’s Poor, Reveals New Study
Report exposes how attempts by environmental NGOs to restrict production, trade of palm oil (a sustainable oil) would harm successful strategies to end poverty, restrict opportunities for developing countries to reduce emissions
BANGKOK—Today at the United Nations climate change meeting in Bangkok, the NGO World Growth released a new report exposing the damaging economic and environmental consequences for developing countries of misguided campaigns by Western “green” groups to halt production of palm oil, the most sustainable vegetable oil available. In particular, the study’s provocative findings demonstrate that palm oil has been more effective than most commodity crops in reducing poverty.
World Growth Chairman Alan Oxley explains: “The commitment of environment activists to preserve the environment is commendable. Yet, when good intentions are prosecuted in way that would force poor countries to give up successful strategies to reduce poverty, they must be condemned as morally reprehensible.
“Palm oil is a highly sustainable, energy efficient crop, generating nearly 10 times the energy it consumes — compared to a ratio of 2.5 for soybeans and 3 for ripe oilseed. More importantly, its production has been commended by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank as effective in alleviating poverty in the developing world.”
In spite of these significant benefits, environmental NGOs like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace are running well-funded but poorly substantiated campaigns to disparage palm oil. Tactics include:
o pressuring cosmetic and food companies to boycott palm oil;
o lobbying governments to impose trade bans; and
o pushing measures to limit palm oil production in the new UN climate change treaty. An international deal was struck at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit that any global strategy to tackle climate change should not undermine the capacity of developing countries to raise living standards of the millions still living in poverty. A few environmental activists evidently think that compact can be torn up. Oxley concludes, “We need strategies to realize the Agenda 21 program adopted at Rio, not undermine it. The findings of this new analysis demonstrate that palm oil is part of the solution, not part of the problem.” Source : World Growth