Netherlands All for Sustainable Palm Oil, Against EU Biofuel Ban



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Stef Blok said the Netherlands is not backing the European Union biofuel ban that targets Indonesia-produced crude palm oil (CPO).

    However, Blok asserts that this issue must not be dragged out any further and Indonesia must pursue a sustainable way of producing CPO. 

    The foreign affairs minister said Tuesday in Den Haag that he is certain a sustainable palm oil production is the only way to overcome this dispute. 

    As of last year, the European Union (EU) ratified an energy proposal that erases the use of biofuel sourced from palm oil. Indonesia took a major blow following the EU’s stand on Indonesian-produced palm oil products. 

    Indonesia went to the World Trade Organization (WTO) upon filing a lawsuit against the European Union on December 9, 2019. The WTO is currently seeking a solution to the trade dispute. Dutch’s foreign affairs minister Stef Blok said he utterly regrets this process is ongoing.

    Blok acknowledges that many Indonesian independent farmers that solely rely on palm oil are heavily hit by this dispute. Indonesia and the Netherlands held several meetings to discuss the issue and has produced an MoU on joint production of sustainable palm oil on September 27, 2019. 

    He believes that sustainable CPO production will be accepted by Europeans, the United States, and Canadian consumers. 

    In January, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo deemed the European Union’s claim, that Indonesia’s CPO is not environmentally friendly, baseless. The Indonesian President viewed the statement strengthens the suspicion that the EU palm oil ban is merely motivated by business competition.