NPower and Palm Oil
Before the plantations comes the deforestation. After planting
palms a biological desert is replaced with a monoculture.
Cattle ranching is well known as a driver of deforestation. Another, more recent, but equally disturbing factor that is increasingly worrying both climate activists and indigenous groups is the rapid expansion of palm oil plantations.
Ostensibly in the name of sustainable development and carbon neutrality, in reality the expansion is largely a result of poor regulations and rampant free market capitalism.
For a short briefing on some of the related issues see this short report by Friends of the Earth. For a more detailed look try this report by Environmental Defense or a whole collection of sources on the biofuelwatch website.
In the face of this threat, a british company NPower has decided to commission a power plant to run on palmoil. So in the name of sustainability a british power company has decided to drive deforestation in the tropics and ship in the so called 'carbon neutral' fuel from the other side of the globe four us to claim as progress in climate mitigation.
Don't think this sounds like a good idea? Please send the following email to the email addresses bellow (Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Relations).
Dear [Sir or Madame],
I am deeply concerned about your plans to burn palm oil in power stations under the Renewables Obligation.
The Renewables Obligation is supposed to help companies develop clean, climate-friendly technologies and a viable domestic renewable energy sector. Palm oil comes from rainforest nations and is neither clean nor climate-friendly. Millions of hectares of virgin rainforests have already been destroyed to make way for oil palm plantations. Local communities have their land taken from them and often suffer human rights abuses. The peat and forest fires in Indonesia alone account for three times the greenhouse gas emissions which the Kyoto Protocol sets out to save.
Burning palm oil in power plants will further drive up the price of palm oil, and make rainforest destruction ever more profitable - even if you were to buy from ‘certified’ sources. This is a travesty of the idea of ‘renewable energy’. Your customers want you to invest in truly renewable and sustainable energy, such as wind and solar power, and small-scale sustainable biomass grown locally. Please drop your plans now and assure me that palm oil, palm kernel (containing useable animal feed) and other tropical feedstocks linked to deforestation will not be used by Npower under the Renewables Obligation.
I look forward to your reply. Many thanks in advance.
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