Should the current bio fuel-demand for palm oil continue to rise, the demand for it may be six times higher than it is today.
That is the basic conclusion of a study written by Dr. Chris Malins, a researcher at Cerulogy, a consultancy firm for the industry of cleaner fuels. Likewise, the study was paid for by the Norwegian NGO Regnskogfondet.
Nonetheless, according to the study the demand for palm oil will rise significantly over the coming decade. In 2015, 35 billion liters of palm oil was produced and consumed primarily in the EU, U.S, Brazil and Indonesia. By 2020 several targets have been set by the aviation industry and several countries which will heighten the demand for palm oil.
The study claims that the global need for palm oil will reach a staggering 67 million tonnes by 2030, which will lead to the deforestation of 4.5 million hectares of forest primarily in Malaysia and Indonesia, the two largest exporters of palm oil.
On January 17th 2018 the EU voted for phasing out palm oil for biofuels and bioliquids by 2021. This was met with harsh criticism from both Malaysia and Indonesia:
“The voting in the EU Parliament to ban palm biodiesel was not only discrimination, but it signified a black day for free trade,” Malaysian Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mah Siew Keong tweeted shortly after the vote.
The decision also met criticism from the Swedish Minister for Entrepreneur and Innovation Mikael Damberg who said that “palm oil is wrongfully discriminated against by the European Union” when he spoke at the Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit in February.
The newly published study does not take the new regulations by the EU into account and the result will therefore be significantly lower that the conclusion of the study.