Greenhouse gas footprints of palm oil production in Indonesia over space and time

Wan Yee Lam, Michal Kulak, Sarah Sim, Henry King, Mark A.J. Huijbregts, Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Palm oil, the most widely used vegetable oil, is one of the largest drivers of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from global land use and land cover change. Here, we provide fine-resolution (100 m × 100 m) estimates of GHG footprints of current (2015) and potential future scenarios (2030) of crude palm oil (CPO) production in Indonesia. The current estimated average GHG footprint excluding production on Java is 5.7 t CO2 eq t−1 CPO; ranging from 0.7 t CO2 eq t−1 CPO in Hulu Sungai Tengah, Kalimantan to 26.0 t CO2 eq t−1 CPO in Pontianak, Kalimantan, and these vast differences are only discernible at fine spatial scales. The future GHG footprint of Indonesian CPO could be reduced by 42% without compromising increased output by limiting expansion to non-forest and non-peat land. Our fine-scale analysis provides a spatial screening approach to inform new oil palm concessions and sourcing decisions, before more cost-intensive patch analysis and carbon stock assessments are conducted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-837
Number of pages11
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume688
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Carina Mueller and Julia Chatterton at Unilever for their perspectives on spatial analyses and palm oil footprinting; as well as Richard Sharp, Perrine Hamel and Benjamin Bryant at the Natural Capital Project for their technical support and training during W.Y.L.'s 2-month secondment. The study is part of the RELIability of product Environmental Footprints (RELIEF) project, which is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Framework Program under the H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions grant agreement No. 641459.

Funding Information:
The authors thank Carina Mueller and Julia Chatterton at Unilever for their perspectives on spatial analyses and palm oil footprinting; as well as Richard Sharp, Perrine Hamel and Benjamin Bryant at the Natural Capital Project for their technical support and training during W.Y.L.'s 2-month secondment. The study is part of the RELIability of product Environmental Footprints (RELIEF) project, which is funded by the European Union 's Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Framework Program under the H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions grant agreement No. 641459 .

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Land use planning
  • Palm oil production
  • Sustainable sourcing

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