EU bill on palm oil slammed

  • This photo taken on April 29, 2016 shows a plantation worker harvesting fruit from oil palm trees at Suka Dame village in Deliserdang, Indonesia’s North Sumatra province. Indonesia is pushing to ban new palm oil operations after last year’s haze-belching forest fires were partly blamed on the industry’s expansion, but producers are warning the move could hit the economy and green groups are sceptical. / AFP PHOTO / KHARISMA TARIGAN / TO GO WITH AFP STORY INDONESIA-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION-ECONOMY,FOCUS BY KIKI SIREGAR

The Indonesian government has condemned a new EU bill on clean energy as discriminative for seeking to limit the use of palm oil for tr ansportation fuel starting from 2021, The Jakarta Post Online reported on Friday (Jan 19).

The bill, approved by the European Parliament Wednesday (Jan 17), contains a plan to increase renewable energy use for at least 35 percent over overall energy use, but it also limits the use of biofuels from food and food crops to only 7 percent of all transportation fuels.

Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi said Thursday that Indonesia was disappointed with the decision as it was viewed of being discriminative.

She said the Foreign Ministry and Trade Ministry would soon talk with the European Council and the European Commission about the issue.

Indonesia plans to show to the EU data about Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil programme and facts that oil palm plantations had helped millions of people to escape from poverty and had been managed sustainably.

“We are talking about the lives of millins of people who depend on oil palm plantations for their living,” said Retno.