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PORVOO, FINLAND.- On Tuesday morning, 32 Greenpeace activists from Finland and Sweden are demonstrating in a palm oil diesel refinery of Neste Oil in Porvoo, Finland, where they hung a banner with the text ‘Neste Oil – destroying the rainforests’. Neste Oil, an oil refining company largely owned by the Finnish government, is set - over the next three years - to become the world's largest consumer of palm oil. This expansion will lead to massive deforestation and contribute to global warming.

Palm oil production is the leading cause of deforestation in Southeast Asia; the clearance and burning of rainforests and peatlands for oil palm plantations releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide. As a result, Indonesia is now the third largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world. This rampant deforestation is also pushing species like the orangutan and the Sumatran tiger to the brink of extinction.

Greenpeace is urging the Finnish government to use its influence to stop Neste Oil using palm oil, and not to subsidize palm oil for fuel in the future. The most significant way to reduce transport emissions is to make cars more energy efficient and to develop a low-energy and low-carbon transport system.

Neste Oil uses palm oil as the main component of the NExBTL-diesel and markets it as an environmentally-friendly alternative to fossil fuels. This ‘green’ marketing contradicts the warnings that climate scientists issued last year that palm oil grown on deforested land is many times more damaging to the climate than conventional fuels.

The company has publicly announced its plans to dramatically scale up its production and has recently invested in new NExBTL refineries in Finland, Singapore and the Netherlands, due online in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. If these plans go ahead, the company will require at least 1.5 million metric tons of palm oil a year, making it the biggest single consumer of palm oil worldwide. Based on current yields, this increase in demand would require at least 325,000 hectares of oil palm plantations, equivalent to an area significantly larger than Luxembourg.

“Palm oil biodiesel is not a solution to climate change. It actually makes the problem worse if rainforests are cut down to grow the palm oil to fuel our cars. Neste Oil’s expansion plans are a major climate threat increasing the pressure for deforestation in Southeast Asia and endangering species like the orangutan,” said Greenpeace Nordic palm oil campaigner, Maija Suomela.

“If the Finnish government is serious about tackling climate change, it must stop investing in forest destruction and instead invest in renewable energy solutions, such as waste-based raw materials, and provide significant funding for rainforest protection.”

Neste Oil claims to source all of its palm oil from established plantations in Malaysia. When asked by Greenpeace, the company refused to provide any evidence of traceability in its entire supply chain from the plantation to the refinery. It is also failing to provide any indication of where it intends to source future palm oil supply. The Swedish gas company OKQ8 has already refused to sell Neste Oil’s palm oil diesel and a recent trial planned for Stockholm’s ferry traffic was cancelled in December.

Greenpeace is calling on Finland to contribute almost € 1 billion every year, by 2020, to developing countries such as Indonesia, so that they can better cope with the effects of climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by protecting forests and developing clean energy supply.

This is its share of € 110 billion that the EU and other rich countries must invest as part of the new global climate deal in Copenhagen, to be agreed at the end of the year.

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COMMENTS
17 comment(s)
Written by: FredCDobbs This user is banned, 13 May 2009 12:03 PM
From: Dominican Republic, Parque Colon statue of Anacaona
bring it on I got my galoshes and snorkel .....Greenpeace can go suck an egg
Written by: pappabowie, 13 May 2009 12:09 PM
From: Afghanistan, BAF
If I could could get my hummer to run on Ourangatang tears maybe I would see a use for keeping the grubby beast around, I think Green peice just has a problem with anyone making money.
Written by: anthonyC, 13 May 2009 12:10 PM
From: United States
Man made Global Warming? How Arrogant!

What do the actions of a criminal organization like Greenpeace have to do with the DR is a mystery to me.
Written by: Cacique, 13 May 2009 12:36 PM
From: Dominican Republic
Greenpeace has balls, comprende amigo??
Written by: RicoSuave, 13 May 2009 2:21 PM
From: Canada
Okay, they may be cutting down rainforests. At least that's objective. As for "contributing to climate change", bring me the science my friends. Anyone who tells you that climate change (or global warming, as it was previously known before the planet mysteriously cooled) is proven and the "debate has ended" clearly has an agenda and also doesn't understand the scientific process.
Written by: FredCDobbs This user is banned, 13 May 2009 2:26 PM
From: Dominican Republic, Parque Colon statue of Anacaona
hear hear
Written by: Escott, 13 May 2009 4:23 PM
From: Dominican Republic, Cabrera and Sosua a 2 days a month for payday
WHen I lived in NY I shot off two cans of hairspray a day to bring on warming:)
Written by: easyrider, 13 May 2009 4:48 PM
From: Dominican Republic, Barahona
The only thing I know as fact, is that to ingest palm oil not healhy. The stuff is like epoxy in your arteries. The D.R. has some sizeable palm oil plantations close to Sabana de la Mar. Thats the oil that is used here in the D.R. for all of the potato chips, yuquitas, and platanitos. It's cheap and the masses don't have a clue how damaging it is for your arteries.
Written by: letroudeballeGeneroso This user is banned, 13 May 2009 9:32 PM
From: Dominican Republic
Greenpeace is right! Greedy development can not trounce the environment! Period! IF you cut our forest, be ready to be blasted the environmentalists!

Easyrider is right! That stuff is crazy glue!
Written by: anthonyC, 14 May 2009 1:56 PM
From: United States
Greenpeace is a anti-business, anti-capitalist, anti-freedom, fascist, terrorist organization.

i have dealt with those cowards before. They are all bluster. Challenge them and they run back to their hammocks, crying for their mommies.
Written by: abc200, 14 May 2009 5:16 PM
From: United Kingdom, Dominican Republic
We need many more organisations like greenpeace then to save the people!
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8047960.stm
S.
Written by: FredCDobbs This user is banned, 14 May 2009 5:34 PM
From: Dominican Republic, Parque Colon statue of Anacaona
the greeny weanie
Written by: abc200, 14 May 2009 6:26 PM
From: United Kingdom, Dominican Republic
name calling again from GC ..........
S.
Written by: FredCDobbs This user is banned, 14 May 2009 6:28 PM
From: Dominican Republic, Parque Colon statue of Anacaona
Oh please dont cry and tell mommy !
Written by: abc200, 14 May 2009 6:41 PM
From: United Kingdom, Dominican Republic
Bed bug rattles his mouth parts....
S.
Written by: abc200, 14 May 2009 6:50 PM
From: United Kingdom, Dominican Republic
DR has low IFL
http://www.intactforests.org/stat..../countries/dominican_republic.htm
Haiti has none.....
S.
Written by: abc200, 14 May 2009 7:39 PM
From: United Kingdom, Dominican Republic
Bananas make good fuel. Are there enough in the DR?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8044092.stm
S.
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