Indonesia Set to Sue European Union to WTO

13 November 2019 06:48 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaMinister of Trade Agus Suparmanto affirmed that Indonesia would file a lawsuit against the European Union (EU) to the World Trade Organization (WTO) this year.

The suit would be lodged following the EU's plan to ban the use of crude palm oil as biofuel fuel starting 2030.

"We will schedule it, at least this year," said Agus at the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Office, Central Jakarta, Tuesday, November 12.

Agus reiterated that before the suit, the government would immediately schedule a meeting with the EU first to discuss the problem of palm oil and its derivatives products, which have been sparking polemics between Indonesia and the EU. One of the issues would include the EU’s latest plan to limit the content of palm oil in food.

Earlier in June 2018, the European Commission passed the Renewable Energy Directive initiative or RED II, which agreed on the target of renewable energy consumption at 32 percent by 2030.

However, the European Union restricted the use of high-risk biofuels that they called Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) risk. Palm oil was considered to be included in this category, and so over the next 11 years, it could not be used as biofuel in the European mainland.

When met a few days earlier, climate change and environment counselor of the EU delegation to Indonesia Michael Bucki confirmed the EU's stance that palm oil posted a high risk to the environment.

"Palm oil has a high risk, it is undeniable," said Bucki at the European Union Office in Menara Astra, Jakarta, Friday, November 8.

Bucki also rebuffed statements voiced by a number of Indonesian government officials that RED II was presented since the EU feared of their products such as sunflower oil and rapeseed to be defeated by palm oil in markets. 

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