JAKARTA – The Indonesian government is currently preapring strategies to lobby the European Union on the Regional grouping’ s plan to ban palm oil as biofuel, a report quoted Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Panjaitan as having said.
“Now, we have to lobby the European Union. We were earlier preparing the strategy,” Panjaitan said according to Katadata.com.
A resolution of the European Parliament is aiming at prohibiting the use of palm oil in its renewable energy by 2021. The Union also plans to ban vegetable oil altogether from its renewable energy program by 2030. The resolution was taken in January this year,allegedly because palm oil production was linked to deforestation.
The document still has to presented to member states and the European Commission.
Panjaitan said that the planned EU policy would make Indonesia suffer, especially since there were 16 million palm oil plasm industri es producing biodiesel in the country.
“If this happens, it will affect our palm oil industry,” Panjaitan said.
Executives from a number of leading palm oil companies were at the meeting, kata data.com said. The included Wilmar International’s Martua Sitorus, Musim Mas’ Bachtiar Karim and Duta Plasma’s Surya Darmadi.
Panjaitan said that the lobbying efforts would include trips to a number of member states of the European Union to explain Indonesia’s position in the matter.
“I have started the approach, we will see. We may prepare a road show,”the Coordinating minister said.
The government is also planning to soon hold teleconferences with its ambassadors in Europe to brief them about the discourse and the lobbying. “Maybe the teleconference will be held next week. This must be a massive operation,” he said.
The government of Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer, has already said that it may take the European Unionnto the World Trade Organization over the planned ban.