Palm oil is highly versatile, efficient, and cheap—and the most consumed vegetable oil globally. However, the expansion of industrial palm oil production has adverse environmental and social effects that have contributed to the development of discourses questioning the sustainability of palm oil. Discourses have the power to influence environmental policy and may induce change in production, consumption, and trade relations. Contributing to research on palm oil-related discourses, the aim of this study is to analyze discourses in the context of the recent development of European policies. Adopting an argumentative discourse-analytical approach, we analyze discourses on palm oil within and around two relevant policies: the European Parliament resolution on palm oil and deforestation of rainforests, and the revised Renewable Energy Directive II of the European Union (EU). Although the sustainability of palm oil has been contested between palm oil-producing and palm oil-consuming countries for decades, we show how these two policies have added fuel to the fire. While the EU frames palm oil as a “forest-risk” and “high ILUC-risk” commodity and thereby contradicts previous EU support for palm oil-based biofuels, the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia describe the policy development as a “ban on palm oil”, “crop apartheid” and the starting point of a potential “trade war”. Both sides disseminate storylines that are partly biased by a misinterpretation of facts. By providing a classification of relevant discourses that are discussed in the political context, this article facilitates a better understanding of discursive struggles on palm oil.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Another approach to discourse analysis of environmental policies is provided by Dryzek (2005), who follows the tradition of Habermas and his normative understanding of discourse that focuses rather on language itself than on power and knowledge inherent in discourses (see also Hajer and Versteeg 2005; Ockwell and Rydin 2010).
Amsterdam Declaration. (2015b). Towards eliminating deforestation from agricultural commodity chains with European countries. The Hague: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved April 1, 2019, from https://www.euandgvc.nl/binaries/euandgvc/documents/publications/2015/december/7/declarations/Amsterdam+Declaration+Deforestation+%26+Agro-commodity+chains.pdf.
Amsterdam Declaration. (2015a). The Amsterdam declaration in support of a fully sustainable palm oil supply chain by 2020. The Hague: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved April 1, 2019, from https://www.euandgvc.nl/documents/publications/2015/december/7/declarations-palm-oil.
Astari, A. J., & Lovett, J. C. (2019). Does the rise of transnational governance ‘hollow-out’ the state? Discourse analysis of the mandatory Indonesian sustainable palm oil policy. World Development, 117, 1–12.
Azhar, B., Saadun, N., Prideaux, M., & Lindenmayer, D. B. (2017). The global palm oil sector must change to save biodiversity and improve food security in the tropics. Journal of Environmental Management, 203(Pt 1), 457–466.
Baron, V., Rival, A., & Marichal, R. (2017). No, palm oil is not responsible for 40% of global deforestation. The Conversation. Retrieved April 4, 2018, from https://theconversation.com/no-palm-oil-is-not-responsible-for-40-of-global-deforestation-78482.
Béland, D. (2009). Ideas, institutions, and policy change. Journal of European Public Policy, 16(5), 701–718.
Boons, F., & Mendoza, A. (2010). Constructing sustainable palm oil: How actors define sustainability. Journal of Cleaner Production, 18(16–17), 1686–1695.
Borras, S. M., Franco, J. C., Isakson, S. R., Levidow, L., & Vervest, P. (2015). The rise of flex crops and commodities: Implications for research. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 43(1), 93–115.
Brad, A., Schaffartzik, A., Pichler, M., & Plank, C. (2015). Contested territorialization and biophysical expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia. Geoforum, 64, 100–111.
Brandi, C., Cabani, T., Hosang, C., Schirmbeck, S., Westermann, L., & Wiese, H. (2015). Sustainability standards for palm oil: Challenges for smallholder certification under the RSPO. The Journal of Environment & Development, 24(3), 292–314.
Brown, S., & Zarin, D. (2013). Environmental science. What does zero deforestation mean? Science, 342(6160), 805–807.
Byerlee, D., & Rueda, X. (2015). From public to private standards for tropical commodities: A century of global discourse on land governance on the forest frontier. Forests, 6(4), 1301–1324.
Carlson, K. M., Heilmayr, R., Gibbs, H. K., Noojipady, P., Burns, D. N., Morton, D. C., et al. (2018). Effect of oil palm sustainability certification on deforestation and fire in Indonesia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(1), 121–126.
Cazzolla Gatti, R., Liang, J., Velichevskaya, A., & Zhou, M. (2019). Sustainable palm oil may not be so sustainable. The Science of the Total Environment, 652, 48–51.
Cheyns, E. (2011). Multi-stakeholder initiatives for sustainable agriculture: Limits of the ‘inclusiveness’ paradigm. In S. Ponte, J. Vestergaard, & P. Gibbon (Eds.), Governing through standards: Origins, drivers and limits (pp. 318–354). London: Palgrave.
Cheyns, E. (2014). Making “minority voices” heard in transnational roundtables: The role of local NGOs in reintroducing justice and attachments. Agriculture and Human Values, 31(3), 439–453.
Chiavari, J. (2013). EU biofuel policies and their implications for Southeast Asia. In O. Pye & J. Bhattacharya (Eds.), The palm oil controversy in Southeast Asia: A transnational perspective (pp. 199–219). Singapore: ISEAS Publishing.
CNA. (2019). Malaysia minister accuses EU of palm oil ‘trade war’. Channel News Asia (CNA). Retrieved July 6, 2019, from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/malaysia-minister-accuses-eu-of-palm-oil–trade-war–11508990?cid=h3_referral_inarticlelinks_24082018_cna.
Colchester, M. (2016). Do commodity certification systems uphold indigenous peoples’ rights? Lessons from the Roundtable on Sustainable palm Oil and Forest Stewardship Council. IUCN Policy Matters, 21, 149–165.
Corciolani, M., Gistri, G., & Pace, S. (2019). Legitimacy struggles in palm oil controversies: An institutional perspective. Journal of Cleaner Production, 212, 1117–1131.
Cotton, M., Rattle, I., & van Alstine, J. (2014). Shale gas policy in the United Kingdom: An argumentative discourse analysis. Energy Policy, 73, 427–438.
Cova, B., & D’Antone, S. (2016). Brand iconicity vs. anti-consumption well-being concerns: The Nutella palm oil conflict. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 50(1), 166–192.
D’Antone, S., & Spencer, R. (2015). Organising for sustainable palm oil consumption: A market-based approach. Consumption Markets & Culture, 18(1), 55–71.
Dauvergne, P. (2017). Is the power of brand-focused activism rising? The case of tropical deforestation. The Journal of Environment & Development, 26(2), 135–155.
Dauvergne, P. (2018). The global politics of the business of “sustainable” palm oil. Global Environmental Politics, 18(2), 34–52.
Dauvergne, P., & Neville, K. J. (2010). Forests, food, and fuel in the tropics: The uneven social and ecological consequences of the emerging political economy of biofuels. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 37(4), 631–660.
Deringer, H., Lee-Makiyama, H., & Murty, D. (2019). Europe and South-East Asia: Shifting from diplomacy to unilateralism. ECIPE Policy Brief 01/2019. Brussels: European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE). Retrieved July 5, 2019, from https://ecipe.org/publications/europe-asia-shifting-unilateralism/.
Donofrio, S., Rothrock, P., & Leonard, J. (2017). Supply change: Tracking corporate commitments to deforestation-free supply chains. Washington, DC: Forest Trends. Retrieved October 31, 2018, from https://www.forest-trends.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/2017SupplyChange_FINAL.pdf.
Dryzek, J. S. (2005). The politics of the earth: Environmental discourses (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Elgert, L. (2012). Certified discourse? The politics of developing soy certification standards. Geoforum, 43(2), 295–304.
EPOA. (2018). The palm oil story. Zoetermeer, the Netherlands: European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA). Retrieved December 20, from https://www.palmoilandfood.eu/en.
ESPO. (2019). Choosing sustainable palm oil: Progress report on the import and use of sustainable palm oil in Europe. Zoetermeer, the Netherlands: European Sustainable Palm Oil (ESPO) secretariat. Retrieved April 1, 2019, from https://www.idhsustainabletrade.com/publication/choosing-sustainable-palm-oil/.
European Commission. (2013). The impact of EU consumption on deforestation. Technical Report. Brussels: European Commission. Retrieved October 12, 2017, from http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/pdf/1.%20Report%20analysis%20of%20impact.pdf.
European Commission. (2019). Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the status of production expansion of relevant food and feed crops worldwide. Brussels: European Commission. Retrieved March 13, 2019, from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM:2019:142:FIN.
European Parliament. (2017). European Parliament resolution of 4 April 2017 on palm oil and deforestation of rainforests (2016/2222(INI)). Strasbourg: European Parliament. Retrieved March 13, 2019, from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P8-TA-2017-0098&language=EN&ring=A8-2017-0066.
European Parliament. (2018). Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 17 January 2018 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (recast) (COM(2016)0767—C8-0500/2016—2016/0382(COD)). Strasbourg: European Parliament. Retrieved July 4, 2019, from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-8-2018-0009_EN.html.
Fargione, J., Hill, J., Tilman, D., Polasky, S., & Hawthorne, P. (2008). Land clearing and the biofuel carbon debt. Science, 319(5867), 1235–1238.
Feindt, P. H., & Oels, A. (2005). Does discourse matter? Discourse analysis in environmental policy making. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 7(3), 161–173.
Ferns, G., & Amaeshi, K. (2017). Struggles at the summits: Discourse coalitions, field boundaries, and the shifting role of business in sustainable development. Business and Society, 20, 000765031770188.
Fitzherbert, E. B., Struebig, M. J., Morel, A., Danielsen, F., Brühl, C. A., Donald, P. F., et al. (2008). How will oil palm expansion affect biodiversity? Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 23(10), 538–545.
GAR. (2017). GAR Statement on ENVI Committee Decision to exclude palm oil from EU biofuels. Singapore: Golden Agri-Resources Ltd. (GAR). Retrieved October 28, 2018, from https://goldenagri.com.sg/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/GAR-Statement-on-ENVI-Committee-Decision-to-exclude-palm-oil-from-EU-biofuels.pdf.
Gaveau, D. L. A., Sheil, D., Husnayaen, Salim, M. A., Arjasakusuma, S., Ancrenaz, M., et al. (2016). Rapid conversions and avoided deforestation: Examining four decades of industrial plantation expansion in Borneo. Scientific Reports, 6, 32017.
Giam, X., Mani, L., Koh, L. P., & Tan, H. T. W. (2016). Saving tropical forests by knowing what we consume. Conservation Letters, 9(4), 267–274.
Glasbergen, P. (2018). Smallholders do not eat certificates. Ecological Economics, 147, 243–252.
Goldstein, J. E. (2015). Knowing the subterranean: Land grabbing, oil palm, and divergent expertise in Indonesia’s peat soil. Environment and Planning A, 48(4), 754–770.
Guillaume, T., Kotowska, M. M., Hertel, D., Knohl, A., Krashevska, V., Murtilaksono, K., et al. (2018). Carbon costs and benefits of Indonesian rainforest conversion to plantations. Nature Communications, 9(1), 2388.
Hajer, M. A. (1995). The politics of environmental discourse: Ecological modernization and the policy process. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hajer, M., & Versteeg, W. (2005). A decade of discourse analysis of environmental politics: Achievements, challenges, perspectives. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 7(3), 175–184.
Hansmann, R., Mieg, H. A., & Frischknecht, P. (2012). Principal sustainability components: Empirical analysis of synergies between the three pillars of sustainability. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, 19(5), 451–459.
Henders, S., & Ostwald, M. (2014). Accounting methods for international land-related leakage and distant deforestation drivers. Ecological Economics, 99, 21–28.
Henders, S., Persson, U. M., & Kastner, T. (2015). Trading forests: Land-use change and carbon emissions embodied in production and exports of forest-risk commodities. Environmental Research Letters, 10(12), 125012.
Hospes, O. (2014). Marking the success or end of global multi-stakeholder governance? The rise of national sustainability standards in Indonesia and Brazil for palm oil and soy. Agriculture and Human Values, 31(3), 425–437.
Hunsberger, C., & Alonso-Fradejas, A. (2016). The discursive flexibility of ‘flex crops’: Comparing oil palm and jatropha. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 43(1), 225–250.
Jiwan, N. (2013). The political ecology of the Indonesian palm oil industry: A critical analysis. In O. Pye & J. Bhattacharya (Eds.), The palm oil controversy in Southeast Asia: A transnational perspective (pp. 48–75). Singapore: ISEAS Publishing.
Karlsen, A. (2018). Framing industrialization of the offshore wind value chain—A discourse approach to an event. Geoforum, 88, 148–156.
Keating, D. (2019). EU labels biofuel from palm oil as unsustainable, bans subsidies. Forbes. Retrieved July 5, 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/davekeating/2019/03/14/eu-labels-biofuel-from-palm-oil-as-unsustainable-bans-subsidies/.
Koh, L. P., & Wilcove, D. S. (2008). Is oil palm agriculture really destroying tropical biodiversity? Conservation Letters, 1(2), 60–64.
Langhelle, O. (2000). Why ecological modernization and sustainable development should not be conflated. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 2(4), 303–322.
Larsen, R. K., Osbeck, M., Dawkins, E., Tuhkanen, H., Nguyen, H., Nugroho, A., et al. (2018). Hybrid governance in agricultural commodity chains: Insights from implementation of ‘No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation’ (NDPE) policies in the oil palm industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, 183, 544–554.
Lee, J. S. H., Abood, S., Ghazoul, J., Barus, B., Obidzinski, K., & Koh, L. P. (2014). Environmental impacts of large-scale oil palm enterprises exceed that of smallholdings in Indonesia. Conservation Letters, 7(1), 25–33.
McCarthy, J. F., & Cramb, R. A. (2009). Policy narratives, landholder engagement, and oil palm expansion on the Malaysian and Indonesian frontiers. The Geographical Journal, 175(2), 112–123.
McCarthy, J. F., Vel, J. A. C., & Afiff, S. (2012). Trajectories of land acquisition and enclosure: Development schemes, virtual land grabs, and green acquisitions in Indonesia’s Outer Islands. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 39(2), 521–549.
Mielke, T. (2018). World markets for vegetable oils and animal fats: Dynamics of global production, trade flows, consumption and prices. In M. Kaltschmitt & U. Neuling (Eds.), Biokerosene: Status and prospects (pp. 147–188). Berlin: Springer.
Miettinen, J., Shi, C., & Liew, S. C. (2016). Land cover distribution in the peatlands of Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo in 2015 with changes since 1990. Global Ecology and Conservation, 6, 67–78.
Moreno-Peñaranda, R., Gasparatos, A., Stromberg, P., Suwa, A., Pandyaswargo, A. H., & Puppim de Oliveira, J. A. (2015). Sustainable production and consumption of palm oil in Indonesia: What can stakeholder perceptions offer to the debate? Sustainable Production and Consumption, 4, 16–35.
MPOC. (2018). CO2 removal through oil palm plantations contributes significantly to Malaysia’s carbon sink status. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC). Retrieved December 20, 2018, from http://www.mpoc.org.my/CO2_Removal_Through_Oil_Palm_Plantations_Contributes_Significantly_to_Malaysia’s_Carbon_Sink_Status.aspx.
Nangoy, F., & Jensen, F. (2018). Indonesia bets big on biodiesel to limit costs of oil imports. Reuters. Retrieved June 25, 2019, from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-biodiesel/indonesia-bets-big-on-biodiesel-to-limit-costs-of-oil-imports-idUSKBN1KS0CC.
Neeff, T., & Linhares-Juvenal, T. (2017). Zero deforestation initiatives and their impacts on commodity supply chains: Discussion paper prepared for the 57th Session of the FAO Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Retrieved November 1, 2018, from http://www.fao.org/3/a-i6857e.pdf.
NYDF. (2014). New York declaration on forests: Declaration and action agenda. New York City, NY: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Retrieved December 18, 2018, from http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/Environment%20and%20Energy/Forests/New%20York%20Declaration%20on%20Forests_DAA.pdf.
Ockwell, D. G., & Rydin, Y. (2010). Analysing dominant policy perspectives—The role of discourse analysis. In D. G. Ockwell & J. C. Lovett (Eds.), A handbook of environmental management (pp. 168–197). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Pub. Ltd.
OECD/FAO. (2017). OECD-FAO agricultural outlook 2017–2026. Paris: OECD Publishing. Retrieved January 22, 2019, from http://www.fao.org/3/a-i7465e.pdf.
OFI. (2019). EC delegated act classifies palm oil as unsustainable but leaves ‘loopholes’. Redhill, UK: Oils & Fats International (OFI). Retrieved July 6, 2019, from https://www.ofimagazine.com/news/ec-delegated-act-classifies-palm-oil-as-unsustainable-but-leaves-loopholes.
Oil World. (2018). Oil world annual 2018. Hamburg: ISTA Mielke GmbH.
Ooi, T. C. (2019). Indonesia and Malaysia unite to fight EU’s ban on palm oil. New Straits Times. Retrieved July 6, 2019, from https://www.nst.com.my/business/2019/04/477092/indonesia-and-malaysia-unite-fight-eus-ban-palm-oil.
Oosterveer, P. (2015). Promoting sustainable palm oil: Viewed from a global networks and flows perspective. Journal of Cleaner Production, 107, 146–153.
Orsato, R. J., Clegg, S. R., & Falcão, H. (2013). The political ecology of palm oil production. Journal of Change Management, 13(4), 444–459.
Othman, J. B., Houston, J. E., & Mclntosh, C. S. (1993). Health issue commodity promotion. Food Policy, 18(3), 214–223.
Pacheco, P., & Komarudin, H. (2017). Implementing commitments in the Indonesian palm oil sector. In ETFRN (Ed.), Zero deforestation: A commitment to change. ETFRN News (Vol. 58, pp. 184–190). Wageningen.
Pirard, R., Fishman, A., Gnych, S., Obidzinski, K., & Pacheco, P. (2015). Deforestation-free commitments: The challenge of implementation—An application to Indonesia. Working Paper. Bogor, Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Retrieved November 26, 2018, from http://www.cifor.org/publications/pdf_files/WPapers/WP181Pirard.pdf.
Press Club Brussels Europe. (2018). The social and environmental impacts of EU palmoil policies. Brussels: Press Club Brussels Europe. Retrieved December 20, 2018, from https://www.pressclub.be/event/the-social-and-environmental-impacts-of-eu-palmoil-policies/.
Pye, O. (2019). Commodifying sustainability: Development, nature and politics in the palm oil industry. World Development, 121, 218–228.
Rainforest Action Network. (2013). Conflict palm oil: How U.S. snack food brands are contributing to orang utan extinction, climate change and human rights violations. San Francisco, CA: Rainforest Action Network. Retrieved December 17, 2018, from https://www.ran.org/conflict_palm_oil/.
Republic of Indonesia. (2016). First nationally determined contribution: Republic of Indonesia. Bonn, Germany: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat. Retrieved June 25, 2019, from https://www4.unfccc.int/sites/ndcstaging/PublishedDocuments/Indonesia%20First/First%20NDC%20Indonesia_submitted%20to%20UNFCCC%20Set_November%20%202016.pdf.
Reuters. (2018a). European move to ban palm oil from biofuels is ‘crop apartheid’—Malaysia. Reuters. Retrieved December 20, 2018, from https://www.reuters.com/article/malaysia-palmoil-eu/european-move-to-ban-palm-oil-from-biofuels-is-crop-apartheid-malaysia-idUSL3N1PD1NJ.
Reuters. (2018b). Indonesia, EFTA sign long delayed free trade deal. Reuters. Retrieved December 20, 2018, from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-efta-trade/indonesia-efta-sign-long-delayed-free-trade-deal-idUSKBN1OF0EU.
Richardson, T. (1996). Foucauldian discourse: Power and truth in urban and regional policy making. European Planning Studies, 4(3), 279–292.
Risso, S., & Lim, K. Y. (2010). Counting the cost of palm oil. Politico. Retrieved January 2, 2019, from https://www.politico.eu/article/counting-the-cost-of-palm-oil/.
Rival, A., & Levang, P. (2014). Palms of controversies: Oil palm and development challenges. Bogor, Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Retrieved November 6, 2018, from hhttps://www.cifor.org/library/4860/.
Roth, A., Riegel, F., & Batteiger, V. (2018). Potentials of biomass and renewable energy: The question of sustainable availability. In M. Kaltschmitt & U. Neuling (Eds.), Biokerosene: Status and prospects (pp. 95–122). Berlin: Springer.
RSPO. (2018). RSPO impact report 2018. Kuala Lumpur: Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Retrieved March 22, 2019, from https://rspo.org/resources/rspo-reports/impact-reports.
Ruysschaert, D. (2016). The impact of global palm oil certification on transnational governance, human livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. IUCN Policy Matters, 21, 45–58.
Ruysschaert, D., & Salles, D. (2014). Towards global voluntary standards: Questioning the effectiveness in attaining conservation goals. Ecological Economics, 107, 438–446.
Ruysschaert, D., & Salles, D. (2016). The strategies and effectiveness of conservation NGOs in the global voluntary standards: The case of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Conservation and Society, 14(2), 73.
Schmidt, V. A. (2008). Discursive institutionalism: The explanatory power of ideas and discourse. Annual Review of Political Science, 11(1), 303–326.
Schmidt, V. A. (2010). Analyzing ideas and tracing discursive interactions in institutional change: From historical institutionalism to discursive institutionalism. Paper prepared for presentation for the panel: “Ideas, Power and Public Policy”. Washington, DC: Annual Meetings of the American Political Science Association, Sept. 2–5, 2010. Retrieved May 14, 2019, from https://ssrn.com/abstract=1642947.
Schouten, G., & Glasbergen, P. (2011). Creating legitimacy in global private governance: The case of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Ecological Economics, 70(11), 1891–1899.
Schouten, G., & Glasbergen, P. (2012). Private multi-stakeholder governance in the agricultural market place: An analysis of legitimization processes of the Roundtables on Sustainable Palm Oil and Responsible Soy. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 15(Special Issue B), 63–88.
Sharp, L., & Richardson, T. (2001). Reflections on Foucauldian discourse analysis in planning and environmental policy research. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 3(3), 193–209.
Soini, K., & Birkeland, I. (2014). Exploring the scientific discourse on cultural sustainability. Geoforum, 51, 213–223.
Spross, H. (2018). Does EU biofuel deal compromise the environment for trade with Southeast Asia? Deutsche Welle. Retrieved December 23, 2018, from, https://p.dw.com/p/305XJ.
Stattman, S., Gupta, A., Partzsch, L., & Oosterveer, P. (2018). Toward sustainable biofuels in the European Union? Lessons from a decade of hybrid biofuel governance. Sustainability, 10(11), 4111.
Suroyo, G., & Nangoy, F. (2019). Indonesia to challenge ‘discriminative’ EU directive on palm oil. Reuters. Retrieved July 5, 2019, from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-eu-palmoil-idUSKCN1PP0VW.
Susanti, A., & Maryudi, A. (2016). Development narratives, notions of forest crisis, and boom of oil palm plantations in Indonesia. Forest Policy and Economics, 73, 130–139.
T&E. (2019). Palm oil is not a green fuel, says EU. Brussels: Transport & Environment (T&E). Retrieved July 6, 2019, from https://www.transportenvironment.org/news/palm-oil-not-green-fuel-says-eu.
Tan, T. (2019). Stop palm oil discrimination. The Star. Retrieved July 5, 2019, from https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/03/21/stop-palm-oil-discrimination/.
Valin, H., Peters, D., van den Berg, M., Frank, S., Havlik, P., Forsell, N., et al. (2015). The land use change impact of biofuels consumed in the EU: Quantification of area and greenhouse gas impacts. Utrecht, The Netherlands: ECOFYS Netherlands B.V. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/Final%20Report_GLOBIOM_publication.pdf.
Varkkey, H. (2013). Patronage politics, plantation fires and transboundary haze. Environmental Hazards, 12(3–4), 200–217.
Vijay, V., Pimm, S. L., Jenkins, C. N., & Smith, S. J. (2016). The impacts of oil palm on recent deforestation and biodiversity loss. PLoS ONE, 11(7), e0159668.
Wijaya, A., & Glasbergen, P. (2016). Toward a new scenario in agricultural sustainability certification? The response of the Indonesian national government to private certification. The Journal of Environment & Development, 25(2), 219–246.
Wolf, V., Dehoust, J., & Banse, M. (2018). World markets for cereal crops: Global trends for production, consumption, trade and prices. In M. Kaltschmitt & U. Neuling (Eds.), Biokerosene: Status and prospects (pp. 123–145). Berlin: Springer.
WWF. (2016a). Auf der Ölspur: Berechnungen zu einer palmölfreieren Welt. Berlin: World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Germany. Retrieved November 4, 2017, from http://www.wwf.de/fileadmin/fm-wwf/Publikationen-PDF/WWF-Studie_Auf_der_OElspur.pdf.
WWF. (2016b). Deforestation-free supply chains—Concepts and implications. Berlin: World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Germany. Retrieved November 4, 2017, from https://mobil.wwf.de/fileadmin/fm-wwf/Publikationen-PDF/WWF-Study_Deforestation-Free_Supply_Chains.pdf.
Yogeesvaran, K. (2017). Speech by secretary general, ministry of plantation industries and commodities. European Palm Oil Conference 2017. Solvay Library, Brussels. Zoetermeer, the Netherlands: European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA). Retrieved December 20, 2018, from https://www.palmoilandfood.eu/sites/default/files/02.%20Keynote%20address%20by%20Secretary%20General%2C%20MPIC%20for%20EPOC%202017.pdf.
Conflict of interest
The author declares that he/she has no conflict of interests.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Hinkes, C. Adding (bio)fuel to the fire: discourses on palm oil sustainability in the context of European policy development. Environ Dev Sustain 22, 7661–7682 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-019-00541-y
- Discourse analysis
- European Union
- Indirect land use change
- Palm oil