Claim- Member of the European Parliament, Katerina Konecna, of the far-left GUE Group, claims in a draft European Parliament report that: “cultivation of palm oil over the last 20 years has been the cause of 20% of all deforestation.” (Paragraph D)

Truth

There is no substance to this claim whatsoever. The only studies that have looked at the contribution of palm oil to global deforestation refute this claim. According to the EU’s own research, total deforestation in the period from 1990 to 2008 that could be attributed to a cause was 182Mha. Palm oil’s contribution to this was 6Mha — around 3 per cent. Even then, when compared to other farm crops, its contribution is small.

The report states: “Ranking the sectors that are associated with deforestation worldwide, pastures for ruminant livestock production represents the largest share with 58 Mha (24%). The agricultural crop sector represents 69 Mha (29%), divided over individual commodities soybeans (13 Mha), maize (8 Mha), oil palm (6 Mha), wood products (5 Mha), rice (4 Mha), and sugar cane (3 Mha).”

The EU’s own research proves that MEP Konecna’s claims are utterly baseless and untrue. She should withdraw these claims immediately.