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Musim Mas Disappointed by EU Parliament Vote against Palm Oil Biofuels
Company Calls on EU Council and Commission to Support Sustainably Produced Palm Oil in Forthcoming Trilogues
22 January 2018, Singapore - The Musim Mas Group welcomes the European Parliament’s vote on boosting energy efficiency and setting a share of energy from renewable sources. The Group is aligned with the EU on the urgency of the sustainable energy agenda, given the general scarcity of natural resources, and the projected global population growth to 8.6 billion by the same year.
Concurrently, it views the decision by EU Parliament on singling out of Palm Oil for exclusion in the Biofuel blend by 2021 with much regret. This decision runs counter to the values of inclusive and equitable development, and is perspicuously discriminatory in nature as data from credible sources demonstrate facts contrary to claims by the EU parliament. The decision also appears contrary to its very own agenda of food security.
The superiority productivity of the oil palm crop in terms of land use-to-oil yield ratio, is well supported via data collated on independent and credible platforms such as the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and Oil World. At the same time, sustainability policies and certifications schemes at the various levels have faciliatated the swift transformation of the sector within the span of a few short years. Of particular relevance, Palm Oil imports into the EU are subject to stringent requirements of the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) and in compliance with emissions reduction requirement set by the EU. As such, Musim Mas views the outcome of the vote as a worrying disservice to the efforts and significant progress made collectively by the industry towards improving sustainability standards.
Prior to the complete transition into second generation biofuels, the phasing out of Palm Oil from the blend list necessarily means that more of other soft oil crops are required to meet the same Biofuel demand. This would in consequence, serve to exacerbate the very issues of environmental impact and food security concerns which the EU Parliament intends to address with this vote.
The decision to phase out Palm Oil is one that is worrying to the continued viability of a sector that holds great significance to the economic development model in Indonesia, especially to rural infrastructure, income (1.5% – 2.5% of Indonesia’s GDP) and employment levels (approximately 5.7 million engaged in direct work in the palm oil sector, while some 16 to 20 million people are employed in both direct and indirect palm-related work).
The phasing out of Palm Oil from Biofuel blends is an overly simplistic approach to addressing the sustainability concerns surrounding the overall sector. Instead, Musim Mas urges the EU in its upcoming trilogues, to objectively assess the merits of Palm Oil and the socio-economic benefits it brings. Musim Mas believes an open public-private dialogue to be critical to the alignment and success of a common sustainability agenda. The Group extends a standing open invitation to the relevant EU parties in the trilogues to engage in thorough discourse on the palm industry.
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