Norway will become the first country to stop its biofuel industry buying palm oil in efforts to save rainforests, prevent climate change and protect endangered wildlife, the Independent newspaper reported on 4 December.

A parliamentary decision made on 3 December and set to come into effect in 2020 called for the government to “to formulate a comprehensive proposal for policies and taxes in the biofuels policy in order to exclude biofuels with high deforestation risk”.

The decision comes in the wake of politicians slowly pushing to ban palm oil, with a vote last year to stop the government itself purchasing palm-based biofuel, the Independent said. However, the measure was not fully implemented as the government opted to rely on voluntary measures instead.

The latest decision was welcomed by environmentalists who said the move should inspire other nations to follow.

“The Norwegian parliament’s decision sets an important example to other countries and demonstrates the need for a serious reform of the world’s palm oil industry,” said Nils Hermann Ranum of Rainforest Foundation Norway.