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  • A new report projects the global demand for palm oil-based biofuel by 2030 will be six times higher than today if existing and proposed policies in Indonesia, China, and the aviation industry hold.
  • That surge in demand could result in the clearing of 45,000 square kilometers (17,374 square miles) of forest in Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s biggest palm oil producers, and the release of an additional 7 billion tons of CO2 emissions a year — higher than current annual emissions by the U.S.
  • That impact could be tempered to some degree by the European Union, which plans to phase out all use of palm oil in its biofuel over the next three years, citing environmental concerns.

JAKARTA — Global demand for biofuels containing palm oil looks set to grow sixfold by 2030, potentially driving the destruction of Southeast Asian rainforests the size of the Netherlands, a new report warns.

Biofuel policies in place or proposed by Indonesia and China, as well as the aviation industry, could push their consumption alone to 45.6 million tons by 2030, according to the report commissioned by Rainforest Foundation Norway.

“As we approach 2020, many biofuel policies are being reassessed and renegotiated,” report author Chris Malins, a biofuels policy expert, said in an email. “So this seemed the right time to look at what the best and worst scenarios were for the impact of biofuel policy on deforestation in Southeast Asia for the next decade.”

Read more: Biofuel boost threatens even greater deforestation in Indonesia, Malaysia: Study


Indonesian peatland researchers recently gathered in Bogor, Indonesia, to examine the effectiveness of the latest government regulation on peatlands. We found some shortcomings, one being that the regulation isn't well supported by scientific evidence.

Read more: More research needed for responsible peatland management in Indonesia


Indonesian miners will dig out 485 million metric tons of coal at the most in 2018, up 5 percent from last year, according to a projection from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

Read more: Indonesia to Dig Out 485m Tons of Coal in 2018


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