Monday, April 2, 2007

Palm oil deemed biofuel failure

Marcel Silvius, a climate expert at Wetlands International in the Netherlands, led a team that compared the benefits of palm oil to the ecological harm from destroying virgin Asian rain forests to develop lucrative new plantations.

...Scientists and policymakers from more than 100 countries are meeting in Brussels, Belgium, starting Monday to report on the impact of global warming, including storms, flooding and the extinction of plants and animals.

...The report issued late last year by Wetlands International, Delft Hydraulics and the Alterra Research Center of Wageningen University in Holland studied the carbon released from peat swamps in Indonesia and Malaysia that had been drained and burned to plant palm oil trees.

About 85 percent of the world's palm oil comes from the two countries, and about one-quarter of Indonesia's plantations are on drained peat bogs, the report said.

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