CPOPC: EU Delegated Act to ban palm oil driven by political, economic protectionism

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 9): The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) strongly opposes the Delegated Regulation Supplementing Directive 2018/2001 of the European Union Renewable Energy Directive II (Delegated Act), which classifies palm oil as unsustainable.

CPOPC alleged the probability that political and economic protectionism rather than science-based decisions were the true drivers of this Delegated Act.

"CPOPC views this as a calculated and adverse economic and political strategy to remove palm oil from the EU marketplace. CPOPC member countries view the Delegated Act as a political compromise within the EU aimed at isolating and excluding palm oil from its mandated renewable energy sector to the benefit of EU rapeseed oil and other less competitive imported vegetable oils. In our view, the intention of this proposed Delegated Act is to restrict and effectively ban altogether palm oil biofuel in the EU through the use of a scientifically flawed concept of Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC).

"The unsubstantiated criteria used in the Delegated Act, while deliberately focusing on palm oil and deforestation, make no attempt to include broader environmental concerns associated with the cultivation of other vegetable oils including rapeseed. We strongly oppose the Delegated Act, which classifies palm oil as unsustainable due to 'high-risk' ILUC. CPOPC is of the opinion that the EU is using this Delegated Act to phase out and impose a ban on palm oil imports into the EU mandated renewable energy sector in order to promote EU's own home-grown vegetable oils. CPOPC has strongly voiced concerns that these assumptions have been based on scientifically inaccurate and discriminatory criteria," the CPOPC said in a statement.

The statement is in conjunction with the CPOPC joint mission's visit to Brussels, Belgium, on Monday and Tuesday (April 8 and 9) to pose a strong challenge to the Delegated Act.

The CPOPC said the joint mission is co-led by Indonesia Coordinating Minister Darmin Nasution while Malaysia is represented by Datuk Dr Tan Yew Chong, who is Secretary General for Ministry of Primary Industries.

"Colombia, acting as an observer country, is represented by His Excellency Mr Felipe Garcia Echeverri, Ambassador of Colombia to the Kingdom of Belgium and Head of the Mission of Colombia to the European Union.

"During this mission, we shall convey the concerns of our governments to the EU leaders and authorities and pave the way for an acceptable solution to all parties concerned," the CPOPC said.