The Indonesian Association of Palm Oil Producers (GAPKI) said on its official website on Wednesday (6/6) that oil palm plantations in Indonesia absorbed some 2.2 billion tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) every year.
The report carried on the GAPKI website cited a research by Henson (1999) which said that every hectare of oil palm plantations can absorb on average about 161 tons of CO2 per year. The CO2 is used by the plant to grow and produce the fruit that yields the palm oil.
It said that Indonesia currently has some 14 million hectares of oil palm plantations in about 200 districts across the country.
“With such a surface, this would mean that Indonesian oil palm plantations can absorb some 2.2 billion tons of carbon from the air of the earth each year,” the report said.
In terms of value, the carbon absorbed by the oil plantation is worth about $44 billion or about Rp 600 trillion in a year,” the report added.
The report pointed out that the top emitter of carbon into the air was mostly advanced countries, citing the European Union and the United States. It also named India and China.
“With such an environmental service, palm oil cleaning up the carbon released, especially by advanced countries, it is hard to understand why they, especially the European Union community, is hostile against palm oil.
The world’s top two palm oil producers Indonesia and Malaysia who both account for more than 85 percent of the world market, have filed a protest against the European Union for its plan to phase out palm oil from its renewable energy program by 2021.
The other vegetable oils would only be phased up until nine years later, in 2030.