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Norway bans public procurement of palm oil-based biofuels


The Norwegian Parliament has voted to ban the public procurement and use of palm oil-based biofuels or by-products of palm oil, becoming the first country to do so.

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The resolution was voted in Tuesday and will introduce an amendment to the regulation of Norway's Public Procurement Act which "shall enter into force as soon as possible", according to the government outline of the resolution.

The decision follows concern about the environmental impact of palm oil usage, when taking into account indirect land usage and deforestation concerns.

A year ago, the government said its public procurement policy would ensure it did not contribute to deforestation.

Environmental organizations have applauded the decision and said the EU should take a similar course -- sustainability concerns are central to the EU's revision of its biofuel policy post-2020.

But, so far, the EU strategy has been directed towards placing an overall cap to crop-based biofuels, rather than targeting palm oil specifically.

In the meantime, countries like Indonesia and Malaysia remain major exporters of palm-based biofuel (PME) to the EU, so any policy changes would affect them significantly.

--Chrysa Glystra,
--Edited by Dan Lalor,