Coordinating Minister of Maritime Luhut Panjaitan said that the government will keep trying to negotiate over the discrimination of palm oil by the EU in order to fight for the small palm oil farmers, who will be affected by these policies.
“Along with Malaysia, we would like to avoid those regulations; of course, negotiation is ongoing with the EU. But, if this continues, we might have to go to the European Court, or the World Trade Organization (WTO),” he said to reporters here on Monday.
According to the minister, the process of applying for a lawsuit in the European Court is shorter and more effective than it is at the WTO, which may take years to process.
Another option, such as leaving the Paris Agreement, is also being considered in a bid to counter the pressure of the EU.
"Another option would be leaving the Paris Agreement. America and Brazil have done it, why can’t we? Indonesia is one of the largest producers of this oil, along with Brazil and Columbia. Columbia also has a large palm oil forest, so these developing countries might also be affected,” he stated.
To counter the anticipated reduction of demand in the EU market, Indonesia will target other markets and continue to boost the use of palm oil in Indonesia.
“B20, B30, until B100 or green energy will be encouraged further,” Panjaitan noted.
A joint letter signed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, raising objections on the discrimination of palm oil products and their derivatives has also been sent to the EU.
The objections were conveyed on behalf of palm oil farmers, whose lives depend on the industry.
Indonesia and Malaysia together supply 85 percent of palm oil products in the world.
EDITED BY INE