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Palm Oil: Production

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL3060, tabled on 13 October 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 12 October (HL2433), how they assess the impact on global climate of converting existing (1) high forest, or (2) rain forest, to palm oil plantations, in particular if this is done over large acreages; and, in any such assessments, whether they have found a significant impact on biodiversity.

Answered on

28 October 2021

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate and Land Use (2019) reports that agriculture, forestry and other land use accounted for 23% of total net emissions of greenhouse gases from 2007-16 caused by human activity, with deforestation alone accounting for half of this. This provides the best available estimate of the impact on greenhouse gas emissions from converting existing forests.

The UK does not directly assess the impact on greenhouse gas emissions of converting forest to palm oil plantations, though several of our programmes aim to minimise their impact. This includes the Partnerships for Forests programme.