'Replacing palm oil is not the solution' - according to WWF Germany report

Posted on: September 12, 2016

WWF Germany’s recent study ‘Auf der Ölspur: Berechnungen zu einer palmölfreieren Welt’ indicates that switching from palm oil to other oils is no solution to tackle environmental degradation. The study states that replacement of palm oil by especially soy or coco is worse for the environment: it needs more land requiring deforestation in biodiversity rich areas. 

The study also calculated what would happen if Germany would produce its oils for the German market in Germany only, the ‘Rapsölszenario”. In theory full replacement seems possible, but except for a positive impact on biodiversity, the replacement of palm oil with only rapeseed oil would need more land (+50%) and would lead to more greenhouse gas emissions compared to palm oil. On biodiversity there would be a positive impact compared when replacing the same volume in palm oil, because an average hectare in Germany is less biodiversity rich compared to areas where palm oil is grown in Asia. 

WWF concludes that the best way to reduce environmental damage is not to replace palm oil, but to consume less biofuel and consume less luxury products such as chocolate and meat. 


The numbers in the report refer to replacing vegetable oil needed for the German market/consumption only.