WWF's statement surprised many long-time palm oil watchers, but the organization deserves enormous credit for sticking to its principles and making clear that companies cannot claim sustainability just by sticking an RSPO label on their product while continuing to destroy the Earth's forests.
The main culprit in the catastrophe facing orangutans is palm oil, a widely used cheap additive found in everything from food products to biofuels. Indeed, estimates say palm oil is now in more than 50 percent of all consumer goods.
Against all odds, the great apes have hung on in remote pockets of the world into the 21st century. Their fate will decided in the remainder of the century, as we grapple with large scale environmental changes that threaten our own lives as well.