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Source: iStock

Norway Becomes First Country to Ban Palm Oil-Based Biofuel

By Carly Sitzer

Norway made history this month when the nation’s parliament announced plans to ban Palm oil-based biofuels. The decision was made as an effort to protect Indonesian rainforests, which are being destructed and destroyed to plant more plantations for palm. 

As a result of the ban, biofuel industries in Norway will have until 2020 to phase out the use of palm oil. According to the nonprofit Rainforest Rescue — which acts to preserve rainforests, protect its inhabitants, and further social reforms worldwide — 61 percent of the 7.7 million tons of palm oil consumed in Europe last year was used on energy (biofuel, power, and heat), while the remaining 39 percent was used on food, animal feed, and chemical products. 

Despite the biofuel ruling, palm oil will still be permitted in food and cosmetic (and other non-energy) items; however, the European Union is hopefully working towards a 2030 deadline that will phase out other palm oil products, with hopes that other countries will institute their own bans again palm oil-based biofuels, like Norway has.