By the end of 2015, all palm oil used in the UK government’s food and catering services will be from environmentally-friendly sources, the country’s Environment Minister has announced.
Organisations including supermarkets, charities and WWF have joined forces with the government to ensure that the country’s targets are met.
Environment Minister Richard Benyon said, ‘The government is leading the way by ensuring that only environmentally-friendly sourced palm oil is used in its central food and catering services. This is great news for wildlife and forests around the world.
‘People want to know that the products they are using are not contributing to deforestation and climate change and many UK businesses are already starting to make changes. Producers, manufacturers and charities will continue working together to speed up the move to 100 per cent sustainable palm oil in everyday products.’
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) commented on the palm oil statement and added that less than 0.5 per cent of biofuels sold in the UK were made from palm oil and palm oil is not used at all in UK biofuel production.
REA Head of renewable transport Clare Wenner added, ‘The sustainability criteria developed by the Department for Transport are a very good example of targeted policy intervention which effectively regulates the industry and prevents unsustainable and destructive practices. These criteria have effectively eliminated palm oil from the UK biofuel market, and have helped UK producers achieve greenhouse gas savings of 77 per cent compared to fossil fuels.
‘This is the kind of regulation we need, not the complete U-turn in support for biofuels currently being proposed in Brussels, which, rather than being targeted, is akin to using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The Commission must adapt its proposals to ensure that it encourages the recycling of profits from the production of crop-based biofuels in innovation for advanced biofuels, rather than simply stopping the industry in its tracks.’
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