Asia

Only India and China Can End Asia's Haze

As some of the world's biggest consumers of palm oil, their choices will determine how green the industry will be.

The smog from forest fires has reached far beyond Indonesia's Aceh Province.

Photographer: Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

The thick haze that’s blanketed much of Southeast Asia for the last month carries the ashy remains of Indonesian forests and peatlands -- burnt in many cases to clear land for producing palm oil, the world’s most popular edible oil. It’s an annual occurrence dating back decades, and this year it’s particularly bad: According to one report, the 2015 fires have emitted enough greenhouse gases to rival Germany’s annual output of CO2. And they’re growing worse.

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