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

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 (100m× 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.

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