One of the major aims of COP26 is to ‘curtail’ deforestation (the clearing of forest or other green habitat).

Deforestation, combined with the industry and agriculture that replace the cleared trees, is one of the greatest causes of climate change, following closely behind the burning of fossil fuels. Equally it is one of the biggest causes of species extinction as well.

Whether habitat is deforested for expansive cattle ranches or certain food crops, it’s all in the name of fullfilling consumer demand for “commodities”.

We can reduce our demand on the planet by consuming less, but we’re obviously not going to reduce our demand entirely. We’ve got to utilise every method we have to make our existing consumption sustainable.

Perhaps the most famous crop for its association with biodiversity loss and climate change is palm oil. Deforestation for palm oil has been rampant over the last 50 years, and yet it offers by far the most efficient production of food oil per hectare over any other crop, as well as providing a livelihood for thousands upon thousands of people.

We can’t get rid of it, but we hold huge potential to steer the production of palm and other crops along a sustainable path, through certification schemes.