Neste Oil: Finnish energy corporation involved in deforestation and land grabbing

Environmental destruction in Malaysia

The Finnish energy multinational Neste Oil is considering to expand its business in palm oil production in South East Asia and is likely to become the world’s largest palm oil purchaser and biofuel producer within 2 years.

The “green” diesel, which is extracted from palm oil, shows a CO2-balance which is even worse than the CO2 footprint caused by conventional diesel. Nevertheless, Neste Oil will soon enter the kerosene business supplying fuel for Lufthansa and Finnair. Moreover, the IOI Group, Neste Oil’s main supplier, is entangled in illegal wood harvest, fire-clearing and displacement of indigenous people. Recently, it was found guilty of grabbing land of the indigenous Long Teran Kanan people by a Malaysian court in Sarawak.

The expansion of palm oil plantations in South East Asia is increasingly causing social and economic problems. The large scale deforestation of the rain forest on the Malaysian island of Borneo, for example, leaves only 3 % of the original forest untouched. The focus on palm oil production also contributes to a price increase of other agricultural products, in particular food, due to the decrease in acreage. This increase in the food price manifests an immediate threat to the food supply for the local population and could influence the food price level worldwide.

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