Only a few years ago, oil from palm trees was viewed as an ideal biofuel: a cheap, renewable alternative to petroleum that would fight global warming. Energy companies began converting generators and production soared.
Now, it's increasingly seen as an example of how well-meaning efforts to limit climate-changing carbon emissions may backfire.
Marcel Silvius, a climate expert at Wetlands International in the Netherlands, led a team that compared the benefits of palm oil to the ecological harm from destroying virgin Asian rain forests to develop lucrative new plantations.
His conclusion: "As a biofuel, it's a failure."
Scientists and policymakers from more than 100 countries are meeting in Brussels, starting Monday to report on the impact of global warming, including storms, flooding and the extinction of plants and animals.