France: Palm Oil Sustainability Still a Concern for Consumers
by Rachel Lau (Borneo Post) Palm oil will not be discriminated as a biofuel in the European Union, but the oil’s sustainability remains a key concern for its consumers and its industries.
Earlier this year in January, the European Parliament (EP) voted to ban the use of palm oil for the production of biofuels in the European Union by 2021.
Since that decision, the France Ambassador in Malaysia Frédéric Laplanche guided that the government has pledged to pursue a renegotiation in the EP on the matter as they wished to ensure that the European legislation would not be discriminatory against palm oil compared to other biofuels.
“Palm oil is an important issue, and France is conscious that this is an important crop and part of the economy for Sarawak and Malaysia.
“We (French government) certainly do not want any ban against palm oil. And around three weeks ago, through internal negotiations with the EP, we have reached a consensus between different institutions of the EP and indeed we have managed to withdraw any discriminatory measures against palm oil.
“So that is a success in making sure that we treat palm oil fairly in the European market as far as biodiesel is concerned,” he said during an interview with The Borneo Post yesterday.
“As long as the development of palm oil continues with deforestation to expand the surface of plantations rather than focusing on raising yield in existing plantations, the European public opinion will remain sensitive on this.”
“And so one of my roles here is to be frank with my interlocuters about the situation and make sure that local decisionmakers, producers and companies understand that if we don’t act in a convincing manner on these issues, in a few years there is a risk that palm oil will not be acceptable for consumers anymore in the European market,” Laplanche guided. READ MORE