The consolidated version of the European Parliament (EP) "Report on palm oil and deforestation of rainforests" that was adopted by the ENVI Committee on 9th of March, is now available. This report is an ‘own initiative report’ initiated by the EP. It has no immediate legal or policy impact, but it is an important tool in the early phase of the legislative cycle trying to shape the agenda. The main topics and statements on palm oil in the report include:
- A clear political signal pushing towards sustainable palm oil.
- The EP is fully aware of how complex the issue of palm oil is and emphasises the importance of developing a global solution based on the collective responsibility of many actors.
- Increased pressure on European Commission (EC) to come up with a concrete action plan to tackle deforestation. Not only in palm oil, but all such imported agricultural imports.
- Asks EU Member States to rafity the Amsterdam Declaration and to introduce obligatory requirements favouring sustainable palm oil in national public procurement.
- Emphasis on cooperation with producing countries.
- Calls on the EC to consider applying different customs duty schemes “that more accurately reflect the real costs associated with the environmental burden”.
- Calls the EC:
- on one hand to improve sustainability of biofuels by introducing effective sustainability criteria in the EU biofuels policy regarding both environmental and social issues,
- on the other hand to take measures to phase out the use of vegetable oils that drive deforestation, including palm oil, as a component of biofuels.
- Palm oil certification might be mandatory in the EU in the medium term.
MEP Kateřina Konečná will present the content of the report at the plenary session of the EP on Monday 3rd of April. The plenary vote is scheduled on Tuesday 4th of April. At this stage, amendments can be submitted with the support of at least 76 MEP’s signatures.
In the meantime the EC is working on the following studies on palm oil:
- EC feasibility study for action plan on deforestation.
- EC study on existing certification schemes.
The studies are expected to be completed in Q3 and end of 2017 and will open up time for external stakeholders to engage.
Together with the European industry alliances joined in the European Sustainable Palm Oil Advocacy Group (ESPOAG), MVO will continue to closely monitor and report about the relevant developments.
Click here to read the report.