Is Malaysia being treated fairly over EU palm oil ban?

FOLLOWING the vote for an palm oil ban, the European Commission (EC) will derive a method and the technology to identify the effects posed by biofuels, biomass and bio-liquids on the environment in reference to its High Carbon Stock (HCS) and Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC).

This new measurement will be rolled out next year to identify high-risk biofuels that would eventually be phased out by 2030. However, import of high-risk biofuels are likely to be suspended by 2019.

We urge our European counterparts to consider their proposals in a manner that is equitable to all palm oil-producing countries. It is only true to the European character to implement proposals that are economically beneficial and commercially balanced. 

Martin Khor, an economist and columnist in The Star stated that developed countries often spend billions in subsidies and implement high tariffs to keep their local farms in business.

He wrote: “The US and EU also flood the world market with their artificially cheapened farm goods while insisting that developing and poor countries open their markets through lower tariffs for both agricultural and industrial products. This hypocritical practice is at the heart of the imbalances and inequities of the world trading system.”

We urge the EU to reconsider their proposal and devise a fair and objective method of assessing the true impact of palm oil.

We also hope the EU will listen to the voices of Malaysian farmers and recognise palm oil as a sustainable option for biofuel. – December 31, 2018.

* Lim Fong of Advocate Planters United reads The Malaysian Insight.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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