The government of the United Kingdom already has a policy on its use of palm oil and states :
"Palm oil production is often linked to deforestation and peatland drainage,mainly in Indonesia and Malaysia. This has major impacts on biodiversity, climate change and also land rights for local people."
The New York Comptroller has also acknowledged the problems with conventional palm as causing climate change and affecting global biodiversity.
Global warming is leading to rising sea levels and we are already seeing parts of Long Island being affected. Scientists have already projected that many coastal communities in New York state will have to move inland if we can't stop global warming.
It is time that New York state, which banned the sales of shark fins, to protect the ocean's biodiversity, speak up for the forests biodiversity and commit to using only sustainably produced palm oil!
Please sign this petition and urge your friends to do it also. Aubree Jones who is leading this campaign for New York will make sure it gets delivered to Senator Schumer.
As an American citizen living in New York, I am concerned that we are directly causing global warming and wildlife extinction when we buy products containing palm oil.
For many years tropical forests have been under siege by multiple industries but never more than today by the palm oil industry. Right now palm oil is found in 51% of all products in American supermarkets and consumers are unwittingly driving the forests and its inhabitants to extinction.
It is well known the rainforests of the world serve as the lungs of our planet and with heavy deforestation, massive amounts of carbon are being released into the environment thus further warming the climate and propelling extreme weather conditions.
Carbon gases that are released when peatlands are disturbed to create new plantations have been identified by experts as another leading contributor of green house gases from palm oil plantations.
Rising sea levels have already impacted New Jersey and the projection is that most coastal communities in the US, including Florida, California and Boston will be impacted in the coming years. Beyond its impact on American citizens, human rights abuses are rampant in the palm oil industry and we are starting to see more and more accusations of land grabs by industrial palm companies working in Malaysia, Indonesia and increasingly Africa, where millions of hectares have been promised to palm oil plantations.
We may not influence foreign governments to an extent where we can tell them what to do but we can influence them by adopting a governmental policy similar to the one that the United Kingdom has on palm oil. Key details from the UK statement on palm oil:
• There is growing awareness that the greater production of palm oil can increase the risk of destruction to tropical rainforest and drainage of peatland areas causing major impacts on biodiversity, climate change and the land rights of local peoples.
• In recent years a number of organizations have taken steps to try to produce and source their palm oil more sustainably. By taking steps to source their palm oil more sustainably, UK companies at all stages of the supply chain can help to reduce the negative impacts associated with palm oil production.
• The UK is one of the most influential players in that EU market. Through coordinated action, the UK supply chain can influence other consumers and producers and support the global drive to make palm oil production and consumption more sustainable. By implementing a policy where only sustainably produced palm oil will be purchased and used in all government institutions, it has created a sudden interest from palm oil producers and their customers to produce a better palm oil.
The use of non-sustainable palm oil will continue to devastate the eco-systems unless we legislate against it. With millions of hectares of palm oil licenses still to be planted the future of the forests look bleak unless we take action.
Thomas DiNapoli and the New York Comptroller’s office has acknowledged the devastating effects of palm oil in its shareholders resolution asking Dunkin Donuts to use only sustainable palm oil in their products. We must expand on this message to cover the use of palm oil in all governmental institutions and the supplies that our government buys.
Distributors of palm oil in the US have informed me that they have a ready supply of sustainable palm oil but that the market demand is low. A policy from the US government based on the one from the United Kingdom will have far reaching efforts to expedite the use of sustainable palm oil by Americans.
France and Germany made a commitment this month to the use of sustainable palm oil as well by 2015.
Americans must not be used as unwitting partners in causing global warming when they are fed unsustainable palm oil nor can we be part of the problem of wildlife extinction. We must stand up in the fight against climate change when better versions of the product are readily available.
I hope I can count on you to take action.