The re-greening of Europe
A glaring omission from Doug Sanders’ list of reasons for the absence
of publicity surrounding the European Union’s massive reforestation
program (The hush-hush regreening of Europe, 22 December) is the
EU’s push for palm oil biodiesel.
Europe’s rapidly increasing demand for biodiesel, coupled with its
strict environmental regulations regarding agricultural and forestry
activities, is encouraging countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia to
deforest large areas of tropical forest for the creation of palm oil
While biodiesel may reduce European greenhouse gas emissions, Asian
tropical deforestation is often done by fire, making it a major source of
both regional air pollution and anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.
In not publicizing its reforestation program, the EU keeps its green
façade by promoting biodiesel and avoids being accused of maintaining
a double standard: reforestation at home and deforestation abroad.
Submitted: Globe and Mail 27 December 2007. Unpublished