Nov 09, 2007 04:30 AM
Surging palm-oil demand from the food and biofuel industries threatens to ignite a "climate bomb" as developing countries strip forests and swamps to make way for plantations, Greenpeace said yesterday.
Indonesia, the biggest producer of the oil, releases 1.8 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases or 4 per cent of the world total a year by burning its peatlands to grow palms, said John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace U.K.
Nestle SA and Unilever PLC are among those "turning a blind eye" to the destruction by using cheap oil in their products, Greenpeace said. Commodity traders "blend palm oil from deforestation and conversion of peatlands into an undifferentiated supply for the global market, leaving little trace of their sources."
Greenpeace "exaggerates Nestle's role," a spokesperson said, while Unilever said it is "looking for a sustainable solution."